Incredibly Slow Refresh Rates Make This LCD Easy On The Eyes

One of the reasons the Kindle's e-ink display is more enjoyable to read with is because it's not constantly refreshing. You might not be able to discern it, but the high-speed flicker of your LCD can lead to eye strain and headaches. So a research lab in Japan has developed a display that can refresh as slowly as once every five seconds.

The 6.05-inch LCD panel of course doesn't always refresh that slowly. When playing video or games it can presumably maintain the requisite 60 frames per second refresh rate so images don't appear choppy. But when displaying static images it can slow things down so that over the course of a work day there's less strain on a user's eyes.

The display also uses red, green, and blue LEDs for its backlight, with the blue LED tweaked so that it doesn't emit light with a wavelength less than 420nm (which has been found to be harmful to the eye). As for availability, the display was recently shown off at a trade show in Japan, and will hopefully be making its way into low-end tablet devices in the coming year. [Tech-On!]


    I hate to break it to you, but you can't see an LCD refresh, there is no flicker. Not like an old-fashioned CRT that goes from picture > black > picture > black at the monitor's refresh rate. An LCD is a static picture until it's updated for the next frame and there is no period of black in-between.

    A slower refresh rate may help save battery life or something like that, but it won't do anything to prevent flicker that's just not there to begin with.

      If you can't see an LCD refresh, why does a 120hz monitor look noticeably smoother than a 60hz?

        You've missed what he's saying. He's not saying you can't see an LCD refresh, because it does. The difference between an LCD and the CRTs of old are that CRTs went from picture, then black then to the next picture. LCDs go from picture to picture.

        120hz LCDs just change picture faster, is all. This requires twice as many pictures as a 60Hz, and appears twice as smooth.

        mThere's a difference between the speed of the actual refresh that occurs, and the refresh rate. The time it takes for the screen to refresh, is too fast for the human eye to notice. The refresh rate, is the amount of times that refresh happens per second. When it occurs more, there's a greater amount of changing light entering your eyes, which creates that noticibly smoother effect. It's kind of the same reason a 48fps film(The Hobbit) will look smoother than a 24fps. Although the speed of the frames changing is instant(that would b the equivalent of the refresh itself), the amount of time each frame remains on the acreen for, differs.

      That depends on the panel. Every cycle (50-60-120hz etc), the pixels gain a charge, then they start discharging. Once the next frame is sent from the GPU, the Time Control Circuit in the LCD module will send a new signal to that pixel setting it to the next value. Even if the value is the same, there is still flicker as the pixel get's recharged. The effect is handled electronically, adjusting the voltage to keep it charged longer, but this lessens the life of the panel. When a pixel shifts from red to green, there is flicker (Although, unnoticeable to the eyes and cameras running on the same, or higher frequencies.

        Whoa I never knew that! Just yesterday I thought I was seeing a flash when I was moving a selection through a menu.

        The buttons were blue, and the rest of the screen was very dark. A selected item is highlighted white. And every time I moved the selection to the next button, I sensed a flash, but I had to look away to notice it. Is this what you're talking about??

        This is on an LCD screen.

          Hi Kev. Refresh rates should be low, 2-16ms, much faster then your eyes can detect, I have an older TFT monitor at work, under the fluorescent light I can actually see it "waving" where on a fully white screen, I can see pulsing running down the screen, that is an effect of the back lighting of the monitor though (It's fluorescent back lighting too). I doubt what you seen would be a result of your monitor, I'm thinking it's perhaps the GUI not keeping up, possibly low memory on your video card (Or RAM if shared). As when you hover your mouse over something that responds visually, it needs to load the "Mouseover" image and replace the default one, if that delays you'll probably notice the control go all white until the new picture is loaded. A good way to test this is to do it to the same button again, if the program was written correctly, it should temporarily hold both images in memory so you won't get the effect if you immediately do it again.

    What a great idea, can't believe this hasn't happened sooner.

    I wouldnt touch anything with this new display technology yet, Sure it seems great, but Amazon have that new technology to light up their e-ink displays.

    Take up that new lighting technique and use that to light these new LCD displays that Japan has created and we have a winner! a FRONT lit LCD display which is oh so easy on the eyes.

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