Anders Discuss How Influential 2020 was to Shift the Tech Curve
For Anders and so many others, COVID-19 has been a change catalyst. In this article, Anders employees examine how the pandemic forced electronic manufacturers and their suppliers to re-examine their processes, find new ways to make business work, and in Anders’ case become stronger, together.
Whilst this article focuses on the 2020’s impact on display technology and embedded solutions, the first article in this series explored the specific events of 2020, and the upcoming changes Anders anticipate for the company and the industry.
The Technology Disruption
As seen from the perspective of 2019, 2020 did look promising. We were all geared up and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Looking at industry trends in line with customer requirements, 2020 started to look like a breakthrough year for us. It not only sounded futuristic, but we entered into a new decade, just as the trend was growing from monochrome to full colour – we felt it was going to be a bright new year.
We could see that the small TFT market was growing, there was significantly more interest, and as prices were coming down to be more in line with monochrome displays, through our extensive years of engineering experience and expertise we were confident that we were very well positioned in this competitive landscape.
Then the pandemic hit, which affected the majority of our customers. The reality is that it interrupted our forecasted projects as it naturally postponed product enhancement and improvements.
So, we had to adapt to a new reality, and as a newly expanded team, I think we excelled at identifying where the market needed our support and how we could offer our knowledge with speed of execution during these unprecedented times.
As we reflected on 2019, of course 2020 looked very futuristic. We had an eye on ‘The Consumer Electronics Show’ (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2020, where we witnessed new opportunities and innovative solutions in display technology, that we believed would become key technology drivers and influencers for many of the markets we serve including medical, industrial, home appliance and marine
COVID-19 was so unexpected, and everyone was so unprepared. We have often discussed industry disruptors, in order to strategically prepare Anders for any circumstance or event, but this was one that we didn’t see coming. Nobody did.
But COVID-19 did come, and as a company, we didn’t want to just go into survival mode, we wanted to thrive by rising to the challenges the virus brought into our profession.
As a company, we quickly realised that we had a responsibility to share our engineering know-how with our customers, especially those in the medical market.
We understood that researching and finding innovative solutions to ensure our touchscreen technology was safe to the touch was paramount for everyone to feel secure and safe.
So, we need to take the positives out of 2020 and assess what we did learn. As a learning organisation, we can continuously improve which will enable us to have a stronger foothold into 2021.
What will 2021 bring?
From a technology perspective, we are confident that we will see a rise in AMOLED displays. We’re just patiently waiting for them to step out of the consumer market, predominantly smartphones, and become more accessible for the industrial market where Anders specialises.
Our manufacturing partners have made significant investments in their facilities to the able to produce AMOLED displays at scale. It’s still a relatively new technology and like all new display technologies, it takes time for certain panels to filter down from high mass-produced consumer projects to smaller batch sizes manageable for industrial projects.
What is driving the need and want for AMOLED?
Quite simply, the contrast levels and colour saturation compared to LCDs is far superior as are the viewing angles. The consumer industry demands this level of quality, but as we as consumers get used to seeing this in our day-to-day lives, so the need and want moves into other industries where Anders sits.
Another consumer industry led trend that will filter down will be an increase in demand for QLED displays. QLED displays deploy special back lights, which operate quantum dot technologies. This is what provides the user with true red, green, and blue colours. This is what we refer to as the full spectrum and gives really good, vibrant colours and enhanced viewing angles. Mainly seen in the television market at present, we will see this type of technology ripple into other industries as it becomes more accessible and price point attainable.
And, thirdly, the flexible OLED display is very exciting. During ‘Black Friday’, Thanksgiving and in the run up to Christmas, every advert break had a promotion for a foldable phone. It’s very hot technology right now. But it holds a game changing future outside of the smartphone arena too.
Anders have manufacturing partners developing this type of technology right now, so watch this space as this becomes within other industries’ reach.
We continue to receive many enquiries for circular and square displays. Customers who want to set their product apart from their competition are looking at different shapes and sizes. It gives the new product designer and developer a greater opportunity to style the enclosure in such a way that only a circular display could fit into. We’ve heard that 2021 will drive innovation and continue to push boundaries. Imagination is the only limitation, and our customers creativity is boundless. This is why we will see more and more bespoke and individualism in industrial display design in 2021.
What technology excites me for 2021?
Transitioning to IPS for improved performance will happen this year. There is an expectation for products to perform to enhanced standards. This is why we are seeing such a high demand for colour display projects to move from TN-TFT to IPS-TFT.
IPS-TFT is quickly being recognised as the best technology to use if you require sharper image quality, enhanced saturation, brighter vision and wider viewing angles.
IPS-TFTs are not quite up to the standard discussed by Mike of OLEDS and QLED, but they are more that fit for function for a significant portion for the industrial projects that we work on in Anders.
So, in 2021, I think we will work with current customers on the conversion of their current display technology from monochrome to colour and/or from colour to superior IPS-TFT and OLED performance
It’s an exciting cycle of display performance improvement and enhancement.
Anders Electronics plc. is a display and embedded display design specialist, dedicated to making electronic touchscreen technology safer, simpler and more enjoyable to use.
Over 30 years ago, Anders started designing, developing, and delivering customised display solutions for the non-consumer industry and they haven’t stopped innovating since! Anders features a history of reliability and innovation, and lives to solve display engineering challenges.
Anders harnesses their expertise in display, embedded computing and touch control technology to help differentiate their customers’ products through exceptional design and engineering.
With Selectronic joining the mix, the team adds depth and dimension, including enhanced portfolios, depth of services and engineering, increased scale of capabilities and market opportunities, as well as improved manufacturing speed of operations.
Now the team is able to operate across multiple time-zones, making business with Anders simple and agile, with an integrated robust supply chain solution throughout.