TOKYO -- Sharp has developed a liquid crystal display panel for wearable computer devices, such as smartwatches, that consumes 0.1% the energy of current panels.
The Japanese electronics maker will mass-produce the panel in Japan by next spring and ship it to device makers domestically and abroad.
Currently, panels geared for smartphones are being used in wearable devices. Sharp's new model has done away with the power-draining backlight and instead reflects ambient illumination such as sunlight. While it cuts power usage dramatically, it cannot display in a pitch-dark setting.
The panels incorporate memory chips and can save power on retrieving data by storing images for a certain amount of time. Panels account for more than 30% of the power usage of current wearable devices. With the new model, devices will be able to function for 30% longer before recharging.