Total shipments for microdisplays reached 431,900 units last year with an estimated average annual growth rate of 43.2 percent over the next five years. That's the projection from a recently released report from Business Communications Co. Inc. in Norwalk, Conn. The market monitor estimates that 2.5 million units will be shipped by 2003.
Sales of camcorders, cellular phones and digital cameras helped fuel demand for microdisplays in the consumer market last year. The industrial market, which includes head-mounted displays developed for the military and medical profession, accounted for a significant share of the market with 136,400 units.
The rosiest projections are for microdisplays for the computer market, which were nonexistent in 1998. The market forecasters project 810,100 units will be sold by 2003. In coming years, microdisplays will enable monitors to act as rear-view projection devices and to be used as near-eye accessories on portable computers.