Changing the Face of Displays…One Button at a Time


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incom_boothSIP.jpgDetarando: I think so. It adds many benefits, but it's not free and it’s not cheap. Glass technology for display has been around for decades. The real advance, and the reason we are having such success in these markets now, is Incom has developed a polymer process that uses much cheaper material and is a cheaper manufacturing process than traditional glass-based products. That has vaulted us into commercial viability for these types of products. In the past, people loved the look, they loved the idea and the concept, but the glass parts were just a little bit too expensive.

What you are seeing here is a 100% polymer product. There is no glass in there at all. Bugatti happens to want glass because it's more a piece of jewelry than it is an information display, so we have a wide portfolio depending on what the market is.

Matties: Is the polymer more reliable than the glass?

Detarando: Yes. It's cheaper and it is lighter. It has some temperature constraints, but no different than anything else inside the interior of your car. The lighter weight allows you to do more and not concern yourself with the heavy material hanging off of a display. It opens up avenues for a lot more versatility on design and display. The manufacturability is higher—it’s much easier to form and machine than a piece of glass.

Matties: Is all of your manufacturing here in America?

Detarando: It is.

Matties: How many people are in your company?

Detarando: We have about 160 people in three facilities. We have our main facility in Charlton, Massachusetts, a second R&D facility in Charlton about five miles from the other facility, and we have our polymer division in Vancouver, Washington.

Matties: Are there competitors for the polymer design or is this a patented process?

Detarando: There is no competitor for polymer. It was initially developed by a company called Paradigm Optics, which we acquired in 2011. David Welker was the president and CEO of Paradigm and he developed the technology. He's an amazing polymer scientist and he’s developed some really good products that we've enhanced since the acquisition. He's still the director of our polymer products division and it's going really well.

Matties: Nice. Congratulations.

Detarando: Thank you very much. I’d like to introduce you to Emilijo Mihatov. He's with Fairlight. Fairlight is our technology partner. They have their own IP professional audio editing and mixing systems as well as what they call picture key technology. The idea of bringing information from a display up inside of a key or a button and creating a menu-driven approach is something that they also hold intellectual property rights on. We partnered with them to put our fused fiber optics into grid.

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