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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Qualcomm looks to put a micro display into Bluetooth headset

Communications chip maker QUALCOMM has teamed up with a Taiwanese Bluetooth headset maker to integrate Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) displays into the next generation of Ubixon's stereo headsets.
The reflective displays, based on Interferometric Modulation (IMOD) technology, require no backlighting and can be viewed in bright sunlight and in a wide range of environments and are lower power than other display technologies, claims Qualcomm.
Details are very sketchy, but this sounds like a display attached to the earpiece, forming the User Interface (and these direct displays work better close to the eye).
The problem is then getting all that display data over the Bluetooth link, although with more memory in the earpiece it could just send updates. Great for a more static display, which would use less power and not be so sensitive to switching speed.
This also ties in well with Qualcomm's SnapDragon chip to add more computing to phones and consumer devices.
MEMS uses semiconductor-like and thin-film manufacturing processes to produce tiny and highly reliable mechanical devices for the displays with micron resolution.
"We are excited to work with Ubixon toward the common goal of delivering innovative solutions to end users," said Dr John Batey, vice president and general manager of QUALCOMM MEMS Technologies. "With the delivery of the industry's first direct view MEMS displays, we are providing technology that enables mobile devices to be used in more environments and for more hours per charge, thereby enhancing consumers' user experience."
More on the technology.
Ubixon started with headsets but is an emerging developer of ubiquitous portable consumer devices. Headquartered in Seoul, its parent company Uclick is a South Korea-based financial Internet portal and technology company.

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