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Current Winner
2009 Innovation Challenge Award

Helge Seetzen

High Dynamic Range Display and Projection Systems

The University of British Columbia


Helge Seetzen
Helge Seetzen

High Definition technology brought us closer to the illusion of looking through a window, but cannot achieve the brightness and colours perceptible to the human eye. Radical inventions in High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology from UBC's Helge Seetzen and Lorne Whitehead, and consultant Greg Ward, have closed this gap. HDR improves the contrast of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology by replacing the LCD backlight with a controlled array of Light Emitting Diodes.

The researchers founded Vancouver's BrightSide Technologies to commercialize the technology, creating more than 30 jobs and funding university programs, co-op positions and scholarships. In 2007, Dolby Laboratories acquired BrightSide, bringing a world-class company to Canada while continuing local investment, including a research chair and an endowed professorship at UBC. Seetzen launched Dolby's first video products in 2009, having established HDR as a solid solution in the display industry.

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