Hitachi's MEMS display: big aspirations in a little prototype

We know the following to be true: microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology can foster some very inventive gadgetry, and it's a wonderful four-turn, 45-point Scrabble word (barring special tiles and presuming an abnormally-large board). That said, the MEMS display sector is still quite small and still a ways from reaching the market (hello, Mirasol), which makes every appearance a bit more interesting than the last. Hitachi's little showing caused quite the crowds at its CEATEC booth, with a pair of 2.5-inch QVGA prototypes built using Pixtronix's PerfectLight MEMS display tech within a LCD infrastructure. The color came through on the first screen, and animations was fairly fluid (with the exception of one or two brief moments of lag). The other display on hand was monochrome with a backlight that flickered on and off as a generic desk lamp shone directly onto it. It was still legible enough without the backlight, but it definitely took some straining.

Pixtronix is promising 24-bit color depth, 170-degree viewing angles, and a 75 percent power reduction over equivalent LCD displays. As for Hitachi, the company reportedly plans to release displays in the 10-inch and under market by early 2012 -- so yes, in case you were wondering, these'll be back for next CEATEC, too. Enjoy the pictures below, so you have something to look back on. %Gallery-104599%