January 14, 2010 | Future Tech


There’s a new display technology from a company called Prysm which is being portrayed as an alternative to LCDs and LED LCDs.

The company, which has been doing research and development for the past five years, is calling the technology LPD for laser-powered phosphor display. A laser is used to excite a phosphorous coating, thus resulting in an image. Unlike LCDs, there is no constantly-on backlight, which Prysm claims results in electricity savings of 75%.

The lack of a constant backlight also means black levels are higher with LPDs. Prysm also claims LPD panels are more environmentally sound and recyclable than LCDs (“ecovative” in their words).

Large Prysm LPD

Large Prysm LPD

LPDs have some similarity to the old CRTs (cathode-ray tubes), but the difference is that, in LPDs, the ray is a light beam and not an electron beam.

LPD feature rundown

  • Lower power consumption
  • Lower heat dissipation
  • Recyclable
  • Higher brightness
  • Blacker blacks
  • Any size or shape of displays possible
  • No backlight to fail

Will LPDs replace LCDs for TVs?

But I don’t know if LPDs are going to replace LCDs anytime soon. The literature on Prysm’s web site talks about airport, cinema, government, and other large institutional use, and nothing about consumer applications. It seems the company is targeting large customers first to finance the technology’s development, and it’ll likely be a while before we see LPDs in the local TV shop.

Sites covering the Prysm LPD story include The New York Times’ Gadgetwise Blog, Slashdot, and Xconomy.

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