Notebook computer displays and touchscreens that have a brilliant, high-contrast image indoors are often hard to read and use outdoors. The colors look faded and lack sharp contrast. Sunlight falling directly onto a display generates dazzling reflections, and the eye only distinguishes a fuzzy patch of light. And it’s the same in very brightly lit rooms.
Displays that are difficult to read in daylight affect not only those using notebooks, flat screen monitors, tablets and smartphones, but also motorists, when navigation systems or the console display lose contrast in bright sunlight.
Virtually all flat-screen displays are affected by these bothersome reflections, including the active-matrix LCDs that currently dominate the market for flat screens. The German Flat-Screen Display Forum (DFF) claims that active-matrix LCDs account for around 90 percent of its sales. “Active-matrix LCDs which operate in transmissive mode offer outstanding color accuracy, which is why they are so popular at the moment,” explains Dr. Karlheinz Blankenbach, chair of the DFF and a professor at Pforzheim University.