Tuesday, May 25, 2010

... on the Shoulders of Greatness

Tue. May 25. Last night, 21 luminaries of the display industry were honored at SID's annual Display Week Honors and Awards dinner. Five were named as fellows, 11 received special recognition awards, and five received major prizes in the following categories: Frederic Kahn won the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize; Dwight Berreman, the Jan Rajchman Prize; Eli Peli, the Otto Schade Prize; Philip Bos, the Slottow-Owaki Prize; and Makoto Maeda, the Lewis & Beatrice Winner Award.

For anyone who is at all interested in the history of displays or technology in general, this was a unique opportunity to hear about how history gets made. Answer: One small, unglamorous step at a time. For example, now that LCDs have been the dominant technology behind displays for several years, it's tough to imagine that the liquid-crystal research conducted by some of these gentlemen was for the most part unsung, and often under-funded as well.

Microsoft Director of Research Steve Bathiche (one of today's key note presenters), who was on hand at last night's ceremony, summed up the impact of these display scientists perfectly: "These are the shoulders on which we all stand today."

Note: If you would like to own a real, working piece of display history, you can: the HP 12c business calculator, introduced in 1981 and based on technology that Kahn helped develop, is still sold today. Price: about $70 from the online retailer of your choice.

-- J. Donelan

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