Seven-segment displays and monochrome LCDs are fine for most projects, but some things simply look better in color. [John] over at the Little Bird Electronics blog recently wrote up a tutorial demonstrating the use of a TFT LCD panel with an Arduino. The specific panel he chose was a 4D Systems 1.44” TFT LCD that happened to feature a dedicated graphics processor, which should allow for some fantastic visuals when used to its fullest potential.
The LCD takes its commands over a serial interface, making it a simple five-wire display solution for your projects. The display can be programmed manually by sending hex commands over the serial interface, but there are also some user-developed libraries available that will allow you to use the majority of the most popular functions without the learning curve. One thing to note is that the LCD must be flashed with a particular flavor of firmware before it can communicate over the serial interface, a process for which [John] provides a walk through.
The LCD panel can be used with any Arduino-compatible board, so it can be useful in a whole host of projects.
Stick around to see a simple demo of the board in use.