Organic light-emitting diodes, thin-film transistors, e-ink and other display technologies get plenty of ink — er, pixels — in these pages. But a non-traditional mechanical approach could be even more efficient, according to a researcher in Taiwan. Mechanical pixels, made of teeny micro-machines, would be visible in bright sunlight and can use far less power than familiar LCD screens.
DLP (Digital Light Processing), a low-cost leader in big-screen HDTV technology, uses a chip with thousands of micromirrors to display pictures. But there´s a limit to how small the mirrors can become and still produce a good image. Texas Instruments, which makes the DLP chips, maxed out with its 1,280-by-720 array, short of the highest-quality HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.