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Konica Minolta develops QWP film, a new obliquely oriented film that enables displays to be viewed without any chromatic change in the image displayed, even when viewed through polarized sunglasses
– Designed to enhance the outdoor visibility of smartphone and tablet PC displays –

Tokyo (August 7, 2015) – Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced the development of a new product, QWP film, which enables Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays and LCDs to be viewed without any chromatic change in the image displayed, even when viewed through polarized sunglasses. It will begin shipment of samples and will be ready for mass production by the spring of 2016, in order to offer the product to a wider range of customers.

Background to the development of QWP film

In fiscal 2014, Konica Minolta launched its Medium Term Business Plan, “TRANSFORM 2016,” and has since been striving to transform its business model to have a more “customer-centric” perspective, thereby realizing sustainable profit growth. Specifically, in its Performance Materials Business, by anticipating customer needs in growth areas and by leveraging the proprietary technologies it has developed in the fields of film for photography and TAC film for LCD polarizers, Konica Minolta aims to create new business opportunities and thus establish a growth engine. As part of its efforts in this business area, it has been promoting the development of new performance films for future commercialization.

In recent years, the use of displays has been expanding from TV screens, which are mostly installed indoors, to smartphones, smartwatches and tablet PCs, which can be taken outdoors. This has caused problems regarding outdoor visibility of displays, as images appear dark or discolored when viewed from certain angles through polarized sunglasses. There is a growing demand for solutions to these problems among customers, especially in Europe and North America where polarized sunglasses are commonly worn.

Developed in response to this demand, Konica Minolta’s new product, QWP film, enables users to see the exact colors of the images on OLED displays and LCDs, even when viewed through polarized sunglasses.

Konica Minolta will increase the production of QWP film in line with the growth in demand for displays.

Examples of how an image on a display can appear through polarized sunglasses

*The image of the “Display with PET film” is an example of how an image can appear when PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film is applied on a display in place of QWP film.

Features of QWP film

QWP film allows users to see the exact colors of the images on a display even through polarized sunglasses. This is made possible by Konica Minolta’s proprietary optical design technology, coupled with the optical properties of cellulosic materials suitable for this product. Furthermore, the oblique orientation of the optical axis eliminates the necessity of cutting the film into sheets and bonding them obliquely in the production process of polarizers. This enables roll-to-roll production of polarizers, thereby helping polarizer manufacturers to drastically increase productivity. Besides enhancing display visibility when viewed through polarized sunglasses, a piece of QWP film also serves as a polarizer protection film, thus contributing to reducing the thickness of displays and the number of parts required for their production.

Living up to the brand proposition “Giving Shape to Ideas,” Konica Minolta remains committed to offering high value-added products and solutions from a customers’ perspective to enhance its corporate value on a group-wide basis.