While the following research definitely falls under the category of “wait and see,” it’s certainly interesting, if only because of a completely different way of going about creating color and pixels. A team at the University of Michigan has put together a new display tech that uses incredibly thin slits in a sheet of metal to permit only light of certain wavelengths through.
By combining many slits into a small grate, they create a red, green, or blue pixel (depending on the spacing of the slits) of a size only limited by the precision of their grate-cutting equipment. The prototype they’ve created has pixels about 10 microns across. For reference, the iPhone 4′s display has pixels (to my knowledge) around 80 microns across.
The team thinks that there are a number of benefits to the technology, but I think the most obvious one is the name: these things are called plasmonic nano-resonators. Is that catchy or what?