Transmissive and reflective illumination? Is this somehow exciting? Although they've done their best to make it sound boring, LG is onto something pretty significant here: a display that suits use indoors and out.
LCDs are generally illuminated in one of two ways, either with a backlight, which pumps light through the pixels from the rear, or through reflection, which uses ambient light, ideally natural, to provide contrast. Transmissive screens, as seen in laptops, mobile phones and LCD TVs, work well in low-light situations and artificial light, but utterly fail in direct sunlight, where reflective displays thrive.
Both technologies are fairly mature, but to date hadn't been combined in any usable way. LG's Backlight Data Signal Switching Technology will allow users to switch between the indoor and outdoor modes with the press of a button. As an added bonus, switching to the reflective mode reduces LCD power consumption by about 75%. The initial run will be a 14.1in display for notebooks, but there's no reason we shouldn't soon see this in a variety of sizes and applications. [Akihabara]