Survey: 80% of engineers stifle innovation by failing to rigorously assess display technologies as part of design processes
Research highlights disconnect between processes engineers use to select displays and the pressure they’re under to produce innovative new product features
17 July 2018, Dresden, Germany – New research from Plastic Logic suggests that display innovation in product design is being stifled by habitual process and a lack of experimentation.
Despite 83% of the engineers surveyed ranking ‘innovating new product features’ as an important priority — and 66% agreeing that the choice of display has a major impact on the end design of their product — only 20% are actually conducting a rigorous assessment of display technologies as part of design projects. One in ten even admitted to never reviewing/refreshing the display technology in their products.
Despite engineers ranking ruggedness (37%), outdoor readability (31%) and power consumption (30%) as the three most critical elements of the display specification, only 5% were actively experimenting with epaper technology in their latest design as an antidote to these challenges. Given that highly versatile e-paper technology is truly lightweight, flexible, rugged, low power and readable in absolutely any condition, clearly more work needs to be done to educate engineers on its benefits and stimulate experimentation. On the positive side, 60% indicated they were likely or very likely to try epaper in the future.
All these findings and more are examined in the State of Display, a report published today by Plastic Logic that examines the role and potential of display innovation in product design. The report highlights the importance of fighting compromise and convention, encouraging an open-minded and informed approach to display selection.
Tim Burne, CEO at Plastic Logic, commented: “It’s rather surprising, given how much time we as users spend engaging with ‘screens’ at home, at work or on the move, that we remain beholden to a very similar looking set of ‘me-too’ products. Product design – and in particular display design – is repeatedly being approached from the same conventional and limited angle — a ‘glass ceiling’ that needs to be broken.”
“Product displays offer a creative canvas for innovation, encouraging a diverse and competitive market from which the consumer can only benefit. Designers should be pushing beyond their comfort zones, innovating with different display technologies such as e-paper. That’s how brands distinguish themselves in their marketplace: by making products more enticing and usable for their customers, and ultimately disrupting the status quo.”
The State of Display report is available in full here.
Editors note: Plastic Logic’s survey was undertaken during March and April 2018. It was completed by 115 professional electronics engineers specifically involved in the outline specification or physical design of electronic products featuring integrated displays (according to the Electronics Weekly engineering database).
About Plastic Logic
Plastic Logic Germany is the leader in the development and manufacture of innovative flexible, plastic electronics based and glass-free electrophoretic displays (EPD). The company is world renowned for its leadership in the field of flexible electronics manufacturing and runs a full-scale, automated factory in Dresden, Germany, with over a decade of experience.
Using a fully industrialised process, Plastic Logic manufactures the most flexible and robust EPDs on the market. Its displays are available in a wide range of sizes, including custom display solutions for high volumes orders. Plastic Logic’s EPDs offer a range of advantages over conventional EPDs from being truly flexible and shatterproof to their daylight readability, lightweight and low power consumption.
Plastic Logic’s glass-free, flexible displays have been integrated in a wide range of applications including smart cards, mobile devices (smartphones and eReaders), digital signage, electronic badges and wearables (smart jewellery and sports accessories amongst others). www.plasticlogic.com
Ben Musgrove/Kiran Saini
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