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Kopin、新しい技術とビジネスモデルで、mobile VRとAR用OLED microdisplay市場に進入

kopin

Mobile VRとAR、ウェアラブル(wearable)技術開発企業であるKopinは、現地時間、12月21日、モバイルVR及びARアプリケーションのためのOLED microdisplay市場に進入すると発表した。この会社の最初のOLED microdisplayは、来月に開かれるCES2017で試演される予定である。

Kopinは、ダイレクトビュー製品のサイズや重量、電力の制約無しに高速OLED-on-silicon microdisplayを具現できる新しいシリコンバックプレーン構造を開発したと発表した。このmicrodisplayは、モバイル及びウェアラブルシステムに優れたユーザーエクスペリエンス(user experience)を提供する超高解像度、低電力及び小型フォームファクタが特徴である。

Kopinは、OLED-on-silicon microdisplayは、シリコンバックプレーンとOLED放出レイヤーという二つの核心要素で構成されることを明らかにした。Kopinのビジネスモデルについての独特な点は、設計に対する専門知識は、Kopin内にある反面、二つの製造作業すべてが専用ファウンドリーにアウトソーシングされる最初のフルファブレス(full fab-less) OLED microdisplayビジネスモデルだという点である。Kopinがファブレス(fab-less)に優れた最大の理由は、、VRとAR、MR市場が成長する時、OLED microdisplayに対する需要が大幅に増加するものと見ているし、OLEDファウンドリーに対する資本投資は、負担が大きいので、他の企業の投資を活用することが、市場に備える最善の方法だと見ているからである。

KopinのCEO兼創立者であるDr.John C.C.Fanは、「Kopinは、3千万個以上のAMLCD及びLCOS製品が出荷されたmicrodisplayシステムの最も大きくて成功的な供給者の一つである」と言いながら、「Kopinは、OLED microdisplay及びモジュールを製品ポートフォリオに追加することで、顧客に様々なディスプレイ技術と光学技術を提供し、顧客が様々なデザインを評価して、これを基に目標としたアプリケーションの最適化された製品を作ることが出来るようになった。」と言及した。

最後に、Dr.Fanは「KopinのOLED microdisplayは、仮想と増強、混合現実応用分野の向上される技術をうまく活用できるように特別製作された。」と言いながら、「Kopinは、OLED microdisplay市場の成長で良い機会を捕らえることを目標としている。」と明らかにした。eMaginとSonyなど、競合先の前で、来月に開かれるCES2017でKopinがどのような新しいOLED microdisplay panelを披露するのか成り行きが注目されている。

2016年1月に公開されたKopinの世界で最も小さいsmart glass display、businesswire.com

2016年1月に公開されたKopinの世界で最も小さいsmart glass display、businesswire.com

Q1 New OLED Product, Smartphone·Wearable Rapid Increase…LG Maintains TV Monopoly

Galaxy S7 edge ( Source = Samsung )

Galaxy S7 edge ( Source = Samsung )

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

Of the new OLED display equipped products released in Q1 2016, smartphone and wearable products significantly increased compared to the same period in 2015. However, for OLED TV sector, no news was reported in Q1 other than LG Electronics’ new product.

According to UBI Research, 17 new OLED equipped smartphones were released in Q1 2016. This is 4 more than Q4 2015, and 12 more than Q1 2015. Of these, Samsung Electronics released 4 smartphones including Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, responsible for the largest proportion. Following Samsung, ZTE, Gionee, Acer, and BLU each launched 2 OLED smartphones, and Vivo, HiSense, Konka, HP, and Microsoft released 1 each. Of the companies, 6 are from Greater China Region.

For OLED equipped wearable new products, 7 were released in Q1, 2 more than Q4 2015, and 4 more than Q1 2015. Sony, Oculus, HTC, and Sulon released new VR products. Epson released smartglasses, and Fitbit and Intex released smartbands. OLED wearable market showed much activity in Q2 2014 with over 20 new products centering around smartwatch and smartband products, which quietened down since then. However, with recent new releases of VR and smartband devices, the market is being rejuvenated.

LG is still dominating the OLED TV market. LG Electronics was the only company to release new OLED TV in Q1, and released 4 products in 55 inch – 77 inch. The market showed some movement in Q1 2016 when several Chinese companies, including Haier and Changhong, released OLED TV. However, since then the market, except for LG, has been quiet. This is analyzed to be due to high price of large area OLED panel, panel supply shortage, etc. In Q2, China’s Skyworth released a new product but the sales are known to be less than anticipated.

One expert explained that large area OLED still have issues that need to be solved compared to small OLED including price competitiveness. He added that latecomers such as Chinese companies are slow to select OLED for TV compared to smartphone.

AMOLED Growing in Chinese Wearable Market

GEAK Watch 3rd at SID 2016

GEAK Watch 3rd at SID 2016

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com
While most of wearable products including VR (virtual reality) device and smartwatch within Chinese market are equipped with LCD display, AMOLED’s presence is growing. Although the quantity is still low, several Chinese companies are presenting AMOLED equipped new wearable products such as VR and smartwatch, fast joining the general trend.
GEAK, a Chinese smartwatch company, is expected to release new GEAK Watch which is equipped with both AMOLED and e-ink. GEAK exhibited GEAK Watch in the CES Asia 2016 which was recently held in Shanghai, China. In CES Asia 2016, GEAK explained that the new GEAK Watch is the 3rd generation product that utilizes AMOLED in dark and e-ink display such as Kindle in bright conditions. According to the personnel the AMOLED used for the product is produced by Truly, and the release date has not yet been confirmed.
An expert of Chinese key AMOLED panel company told OLEDNET that while there were PMOLED equipped smartwatch products in China, not many used AMOLED. It was explained that this is due to higher price of AMOLED compared to PMOLED.
DeePoon`s New VR Device 'M2'

DeePoon`s New VR Device ‘M2’

DeePoon, Chinese VR market leader, is expected to release new AMOLED based VR M2 soon. M2 was presented in CES Asia 2016. At the event, DeePoon explained that the company is the only one to release AMOLED VR and AMOLED can actualize higher Hz figure compared to LED installed LCD panel, and has better visual experience when playing games etc.
Chinese key mobile AMOLED company EverDisplay (EDO) is also releasing AMOLED panel for VR from this year. This company is planning to increase ppi of VR panel each year, and produce flexible AMOLED panel for VR with over 800 ppi before 2020.
An industry expert explained that although Korea is leading the wearable AMOLED sector, Chinese market is also recognizing that compared to LCD, AMOLED has many advantages such as faster response time and better for human eye due to lack of backlight and blue light.

TAG Heuer to Unveil Smartwatch Worth $1,800

On September 29 (local time), the TAG Heuer CEO, Jean-Claude Biver, told CNBC news that they will unveil their Android-powered smartwatch on November 9 at the LVMH building in New York. The announced price for the connected watch is $1,800.

 

The watch, Carrera 01, is produced by TAG Heuer, French luxury group LVMH’s biggest watchmaker, using Google’s Android OS in a venture with Intel. Biver told CNBC that could not have had better partners than Intel and Google for their first smartwatch. He also revealed he loved the Apple-Hermes deals because it showed that the smartwatch has cracked the luxury market.

 

“We were a little bit concerned about the price, because we’re going to sell it at $1,800 … and now we are quite reassured because Apple is telling us we can sell at $1,500 or even more,” he said. “I’m very, very pleased.”

 

Biver also told CNBC that TAG Heuer would not try to chase Apple but instead chase Swiss watch industry.

 

[Wearable Expo Japan 2015] A wearable to take over the future electronics industry

With increasing interests in wearable devices, the first Wearable Device Technology Expo 2015 was held on January 14, 2015 at the Tokyo Big Sight including the participating companies of the batteries and electric parts/materials such as a sensor, display, etc. which are to be used for wearable devices. The host announced that the event in 2016 will be about four times larger than this year proving the increased interests in associated industries and expected a drastic growth of the wearable device industry.

The first speaker of the Commemorative Session, Hideyuki Saso, the President of Fujitsu Laboratories, presented that the key for a wearable device is ICT (Information & Communication Technology) which enables every device wearable as applying a sensor and connecting system.

Tomokazu Tajima, the senior vice president of Sony, pointed out ‘co-creation’ as the keyword. He said that the issue for a wearable device is creating a new application through a co-work practice among other players in the industry. Also he estimated high market opportunities of the wearable device industry.

Among 150 companies submitted for the exhibition, WESTUNITIS showed the glasses using the micro display and PPP presented the smart glasses controlling display through hand gestures by employing a sensor and camera at the end of the glasses.

In addition, there were other wearable devices receiving fervent responses as using the glasses, smart watch and sensor including the system automatically informing the work process as linked with a display and embedded sensors in a pair of gloves and glasses, or the system operating a robot to follow the movements of a human wearing the device with a sensor installed in the arm area.

150116_Wearable Expo Japan 2015 미래의 전자산업은_1

<West units’s wearable device>

150116_Wearable Expo Japan 2015 미래의 전자산업은_2

<PPP’s smart glasses>

 

Imminent release of the world’s first hybrid smart watch, TalkBand, in UK

TalkBand, a band type wearable device released by Hauwei at MWC 2014 in the last February, is introduced on Amazon, a large online retailer.

One of the TalkBand’s strength is that it can be transformed into a Bluetooth earphone and that gave a title of the world’s first hybrid smart watch to the TalkBand. 1.4” Curved PMOLED by Futaba is applied to the TalkBand. It is expected to draw more customers’ attention by adding a health care feature (tracking calorie intake, sleep pattern and fitness).

According to Amazon UK, TalkBand will be available on June 30th for $99.9 (about 173,000 WON).

140618_Hauwei’s TalkBand MWC 2014

<Hauwei’s TalkBand, MWC 2014>

Apple’s iWatch with flexible AMOLED will be on the market in October

Apple Inc. plans to release a new product, Smart Watch (iWatch) in October. According to Nihon Geizai Shimnun, iOS 8 combined iWatch will be on the market in this October and 3 to 5 million iWatches will be produced monthly. An IT specialized media, recode.net, also reported that ‘tentatively, Apple Inc. will host a special event in October and unveil a wearable device.’

Specifications of Apple’s iWatch are unknown though 1.3~1.5” flexible OLED display is expected to be used. It is forecasted that LG Display will supply the flexible AMOLED panel for the iWatch and mass-produce about 2 million displays from this July to September.

As Mark Parker, the formal CEO of Nike once mentioned that ‘Apple Inc. and Nike will jointly introduce a wearable product,’ the focus of the iWatch will be on health and a partnership between Nike and Apple Inc. is expected.

As of now, it is known that Apple Inc. is testing each of 1.4”, 1.5” and 1.6” models. As prediction says, the iWatch will be available in different sizes by gender; males and females and be about $300.

140612_Apple사의 product launch schedule forecast in 2014 Source Know Your Mobile

<Apple’s product launch schedule forecast in 2014, Source : Know Your Mobile>

140612_iWatch의 concept과 기능, Source  Know Your Mobile

<Concept and functions of iWatch, Source : Know Your Mobile>