Earlier this week, hundreds of Apple engineers and employees made the five-hour trek up to the Display Week tradeshow in Los Angeles, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The overarching purpose of the trip, of course, was to scout out emerging display technologies that might one day find a home in Apple products like the iPhone or even, perhaps, the company’s rumored AR-powered smart glasses. You might even recall a rumor from last month which claimed that Apple was working on a futuristic headset with an 8K display for each eye.
All told, a reported 369 Apple employees attended the event with a small number of them actually leading specific lectures within the conference.
While the technologies on display at Display Week aren’t likely to show up in mass consumer products anytime soon, it does provide big companies like Apple and Google to take a close look at what the future holds and how it aligns with whatever unreleased products they happen to have in the pipeline.
Out on the conference floor, some Apple engineers appeared particularly interested in screens used in virtual-reality headsets made by Japan Display, which already provides these components for iPhones. Other Apple staff took a close look at Samsung Display Co.’s latest high-resolution panels and screens that work well when wet from rain.
Of course, Apple’s interest in emerging display technologies is nothing new as the company over the past few years has thrown a lot of R&D dollars towards the development of vibrant, thin, and increasingly energy efficient displays. A few years ago, for example, word emerged that Apple opened up a secret research lab in Taiwan with a staff of 50 engineers all focused on developing new display technologies for use across the entirety of Apple’s product line.
More recently, a report surfaced relaying that Apple has a secret manufacturing facility in California where hundreds of engineers are busy working on advanced MicroLED displays for future iPhone models.