Introducing Harsh Environment Displays (HED)

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Display technology has come a long way in recent years, getting thinner and lighter. They can also be fragile, posing significant challenges to engineers and designers who intend to stretch the boundaries of display applications.

Our Harsh Environment Displays (HED) are rugged by design and have been developed to solve those challenges. They are built to withstand moisture, vibration, salinity, high UV exposure, and extreme temperatures, all without sacrificing the manufacturer's design freedom and the user's experience.

These features allow the HEDs to have an extended lifetime and numerous possible applications:

  • Sunlight readable
  • Built for sunlight exposure
  • Resistant to shock and vibration
  • Antiglare surface finish
  • Waterproof
  • Wide temperature range
  • Extended lifetime
  • Rugged surface treatment
  • Hardened cover glass
  • Tested over spec
  • Moisture resistant

What Makes HEDs Unique?

HEDs are unique because of the special coatings applied to the cover glass. Anti-glare (AG) and anti-reflective (AR) are both treatments that allow a user to see the content displayed under high sunlight exposure. The anti-fingerprint/anti-fog (AF) coating keeps the screen cleaner than a standard display without it.

Anti-glare (AG)

  • AG works by diffusing reflective light and redirecting it away from the display.

Anti-reflective Coating (AR)

  • Just like AG diffuses reflective light and redirects it away from the display, AR also interferes particular light waves that typically cause reflections and only allows wanted light through.

Anti-fingerprint/Anti-fog (AF)

  • The anti-fingerprint/anti-fog (AF) coating is applied for applications when a display will encounter high concentrations of dust or sweat.

HEDs are designed to operate safely in high and low temperatures (typically -30°C to +80°C). Standard consumer-grade displays run in 0°C to 50°C.

Rather than using standard components to survive temperature fluctuations, HEDs use higher quality parts. Higher performing liquid crystal are specified that can handle both higher and lower temperatures. The polarizer can also tolerate higher temperatures being resistant to shrinkage. Finally, the backlight is designed to dissipate heat more efficiently.

Water (especially salt water) can severely shorten the life of any electrical component. Salt waterproofing was developed in HEDs to combat touch interference and premature degradation. A special coating is applied, and the display is exposed to salt fog during qualification to ensure that it resists up to 3.5% salt solution. The customer’s enclosure still needs to be sealed to keep moisture out of the display interface electronics.

Vibrations and mechanical shock can wreak havoc on any electronics. Parts get jarred loose, which creates an eventual failure. HEDs have higher quality parts such as the adhesives and screws used to keep the assembly intact. A hardened cover glass is also utilized to resist cracking, surface damage, or breakage.

Touch Technology

Our HEDs include projective capacitive (PCAP) technology that uses electrostatic sensing. This technology senses the capacity of the human body to alter the electrostatic field. The main advantage is that it does not require skin contact for signaling and is ideal for applications that use gloves.

Features of PCAP:

  • Works with various glove types
  • Highly scratch resistant
  • Perfect for outdoor, high temperature, and chemically exposed environments
  • Multi-touch capabilities


HEDs are subjected to rigorous qualification testing to ensure the best performance in the field.

Industries that are ideal for HEDs include:

  • Marine
  • Aerospace
  • Military
  • Automotive
  • ATV/UTVs
  • Medical
  • Industrial
  • Oil and Gas
  • Outdoor Consumer

Specific applications that feature HEDs include:

  • Dashboards
  • Fish finders
  • GPS navigation
  • Entertainment (head units)
  • Communication devices
  • Control panels (wired or remote)
  • Gauges
  • Indicators
  • Monitors
  • Kiosk
  • Outdoor signage

"Standard" HEDs

US Micro Products offers an array of off-the-shelf HEDs that require little adaptation and can be considered plug and play. These cost-effective solutions include:

  • 12.3" TFT LCD (AG) with touch
  • 12.3" TFT LCD (AR & AF) with touch
  • 7" TFT LCD with touch
  • 4.3" TFT LCD with touch
  • 3.5" TFT LCD with touch
  • 5" TFT LCD with touch

Custom HEDs

If a standard HED doesn't meet your requirements, we can create a custom solution. Custom features include:

  • Size and aspect ratio
  • Touch sensitivity (with or without gloves)
  • Increased contrast ratio
  • Higher brightness
  • Improved resolution
  • Cover glass thickness
  • Enhanced viewing angles
  • Surface Treatment (AR, AF, or AG coatings)

Advancements in consumer products like the smartphone completely changed what is considered acceptable with display technology. HEDs open many possibilities by giving the user a truly unique and memorable experience in environments where electronics have had minimal exposure in years before.

Email us to if you have any additional questions or think a HED is a right solution for you.

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North America HQ

6207 Bee Caves Rd., Ste 330
Austin, TX 78746

Tel: (512) 385 9000
Fax: (512) 385 9002