NEC's tiny new screen is heart-shaped LCD

It may look plain, but it's just a pointer to the way ahead

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Yesterday, we had curved LCDs from AU Optronics and ultra HD screens by Samsung on show at the Display Week event in LA, where today we find a heart-shaped LCD from NEC Japan.

The prototype is one of an emerging breed of liquid crystal screens that aren’t square or rectangular - we can include LG Philips’ recent circular LCD in that too.

NEC’s new device is a colour TFT crafted into the shape of a heart using two half circles connected to two straight pieces. It’s 4cm tall and 3.6cm across, with a pixel count of 146 per inch.

New applications

Although the device is mounted in an unappealing silver frame like a pendant, NEC says the point of it is to encourage the development of new applications for irregular LCDs beyond the car dashboard instruments suggested by others working on simpler shapes.

To achieve the heart shape, NEC’s engineers had to simplify the wiring behind the screen and reduce the space between it and external circuits. The resulting metal frame is just 2mm thick, meaning it could easily be embedded in a larger device, possibly as a novelty display.