Alphanumeric displays - visualise information simply and comprehensibly
Alphanumeric displays are where creativity and functionality meet! Alphanumeric displays provide a versatile solution for displaying letters, numbers and symbols and offer a wide range of applications for businesses and industries. With their ability to display information in a simple and easy to understand way, alphanumeric displays are an indispensable tool in many industries. Whether you are designing a product that requires a high-resolution screen, need a timer to monitor your production processes, or want to create a user interface to display information in an intuitive way, alphanumeric displays offer an ideal solution.
What is an alphanumeric display?
An alphanumeric display is a type of display that can show both letters and numbers. Unlike a purely numeric display that only shows digits, an alphanumeric display can show both letters and numbers, and occasionally special characters and symbols.
Alphanumeric displays are found in many different devices, such as digital watches, calculators, smartphones, computer keyboards and other electronic devices. They usually consist of a matrix of small dots or segments that can be controlled individually to display letters and numbers.
How do alphanumeric displays work?
Most alphanumeric displays today are electronic and based on the use of LCD or LED technology. LCD displays use liquid crystals to block or transmit light, while LED displays emit light to display letters and numbers.
An alphanumeric liquid crystal display (LCD) consists of a layer of liquid crystals sandwiched between two layers of polarised glass. When electrical voltage is applied to the display, the liquid crystals in the segments that form the letters and numbers change, allowing or blocking light from shining through the display. By driving different segments, different letters and numbers can be shown on the display.
An alphanumeric LED (Light Emitting Diode) display consists of many small LED lights arranged individually or in groups. Each LED can be switched on or off by applying an electrical voltage to display a specific segment of the alphanumeric character.
There are also other types of alphanumeric displays based on different technologies, such as vacuum fluorescence (VFD) and dot-matrix displays. In general, alphanumeric displays allow letters, numbers, and other symbols to be displayed in a clearly legible form and can be used for a variety of applications.
What alphanumeric displays are there?
There are different types of alphanumeric displays that can be chosen depending on the type of information displayed and the resources available. Here are some common types of alphanumeric displays:
7-segment displays: these displays consist of seven segments arranged to display digits from 0 to 9 and some letters (e.g. A, b, C, d, E, F).
7-segment displays are usually easy to use and inexpensive.
14-segment displays are similar to 7-segment displays but have 14 segments and can therefore display a larger number of letters and numbers.
16-segment displays have 16 segments and can display a larger number of letters and numbers than 7- or 14-segment displays. However, they can be more difficult to use and may require more resources.
Dot matrix displays consist of many small LEDs arranged into a matrix. Each LED can display one or more dots to show text, numbers and even graphics. Dot matrix displays are very versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications.
LCD displays use the properties of liquid crystals to display text and numbers. They can come in a variety of sizes and configurations and are often found in digital clocks, thermometers, and other applications.
What projects can be done with such an alphanumeric display?
There are many different projects that can be realised with alphanumeric displays. Here are some examples:
Digital clocks: An alphanumeric display can be used to display a digital clock that can show both the time and the date.
Temperature display: The display can be used to show the temperature. This can be installed in a thermostat, a furnace, or a refrigerator, for example.
Calculator: You can use an alphanumeric display as an output for a calculator to display numbers and mathematical symbols.
Countdown timer: For example, if you want to do project and keep track of the remaining time, you can use alphanumeric display as an output for a countdown timer.
Message display: An alphanumeric display can be used to display messages, e.g. a welcome message on a digital sign or a notification in a smart home system.
Display of sensor data: Alphanumeric displays are particularly suitable for the output of sensor data, e.g. humidity, air pressure or CO2 concentration.
These are just a few examples, and there are many other ways to use alphanumeric displays. The use often depends on the needs of the specific project.