Telescopic pixels project a brighter, more efficient future

The common LCD screen is highly inefficient. Less than 10% of the light from the backlit screen actually works its way through the various layers, with the polarizing layer alone absorbing half.

Now, using optics more akin to something found in a telescope, researchers have discovered a way to reduce the wasted energy. Anna Pyayt, from the University of Washington, along with two Microsoft engineers, think they can achieve 75% efficiency.

In the new display technology each pixel is comprised of two mirrors. Light from a backlit display hits the primary donut shape mirror, which then – with the help of an applied voltage – reflects the light onto a secondary mirror. The light travels back towards the first mirror and through the hole, onto the screen.

The budding technology has potential to achieve wide spread consumer acceptance simply because it is brighter and more efficient than other competitors to the field. The technology is new and hasn’t even gone through any durability testing, but the team is hopeful to see commercial production within five years.