British scientists have invented a new type of touchscreen material that requires very little power to illuminate, with vivid colours and high visibility in direct sunlight.
The team is already in talks with some big players in consumer electronics to see if their new material can replace current LCD touchscreens over the next few years, sciencealert.com reported. Developed by Bodie Technologies, a University of Oxford spin-off company, the new technology could spare the consumers the pains of charging their smartphones daily.
"We can create an entire new market. You have to charge smartwatches every night, which is slowing adoption. But if you had a smartwatch or smart glass that didn't need much power, you could recharge it just once a week," one of the researchers, Peiman Hosseini, was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Last year, the researchers published a paper describing how a rigid or flexible display can be formed from microscopic 'stacks' of a material called GST and electrode layers. Each stack is made of a single 7-nanometre-thick layer of GST inserted between two layers of a transparent electrode.
This stack is fed a very low-energy electric current to produce colour images. The researchers claimed that their ultra-thin display material can produce vivid colour displays at very high resolution, even in bright, direct sunlight.
"This makes them potentially useful for 'smart' glasses, foldable screens, windshield displays, and even synthetic retinas that mimic the abilities of photoreceptor cells in the human eye," the team was quoted as saying.