New "invisible glass" ends glossy versus matte dilemma

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There could be a day in the near future when you'll be able to purchase a laptop or smartphone without compromising on the visual quality of its display. Most viewing devices offer the choice between a glossy or matte panel. The former is said to look brighter and crisper, but reflects more light making the screen unusable in high intensity light. Meanwhile, matte displays reduce glare but sacrifice vibrancy and clarity.

Nippon Electric Glass Co Ltd claims its "invisible glass" solves the dilemma, however. Unveiled last week at the FPD International 2011 conference, the glass panel on demonstration wowed attendees. Writing for Tech-On, Satoshi Okubo said it was hard to see the substrate when standing right in front of it and onlookers had "surprised looks on their faces."

According to Nippon, about 92% of incoming light passes through standard glass panels, while the remaining 8% or so is reflected. However, the company's enchanted panels allow approximately 99.5% of light to pass through, reflecting only 0.5% of light while luminance reflectance is reduced to 0.1% or less. The feat is accomplished by covering both sides of the glass with a special anti-reflective film, which is applied in nanometer increments.

Besides improving the visual quality of displays in the consumer electronics segment, it's noted that the invisible glass would benefit other industries, such as boosting solar panel efficiency. Despite those possibilities, it's unclear when or if Nippon's technology will make it to a tablet near you.

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