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Tag Archives: Displays

Microsoft SecondLight Makes Surface More Magical

By Evan Ackerman

This is a demo of Microsoft’s SecondLight table, which takes their totally awesome Surface technology and adds a see-through dimension that looks like black magic. Or semi-transparent magic, I guess. SecondLight is just like Surface, except it uses a display that switches back and forth between transparent and opaque so quickly that you can’t tell it’s not a completely opaque surface. This switching is synced up with a projection system that projects an alternate image through the display surface whenever it’s in transparent mode. In effect, SecondLight is able to project one image straight through another. When you put a diffuse surface (like tracing paper or plastic) on top of the primary surface, the second image that’s being projected straight through appears on it.

There are other advantages to a surface that’s effectively transparent half the time. For example, a camera can be synced to the transparent periods, giving it the ability to look straight through a seemingly active, opaque display. The camera can see the faces of people sitting around the table, and even tell if they’re looking at the table or not. Or, transparent objects can be placed on the table, and alternate images can be projected through them. Designers suggest that “game pieces, such as chess pieces, designed in this way [could allow] animated graphics to be rendered onto their faces and bodies.” Wow.

Any chance we’ll see this built into Oahu? Um, let’s just go with yes, and keep our fingers crossed.

[ PC Magazine ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

“Oahu” Could Be Consumer Version Of Microsoft Surface

By Evan Ackerman

Oh Microsoft Surface, why do you have to be so sexy, and yet so unattainable? If you’ve ever played with a Surface table (at an AT&T retail store, maybe) you know exactly what I’m talking about, and if you’ve never seen one, just watch the demo and you’ll get the idea. No matter how sexy it is, though, the price tag of $10k+ is a bit of a turn-off.

A recent Microsoft market research survey asked participants what they’d think about the following device, called “Oahu:”

Oahu is a flat screen that sits horizontally like a table top. You can interact with Oahu by touching the screen, instead of using a mouse, and more than one person can interact with Oahu at the same time. You and others can move objects on the screen with your hands and touch icons to open up programs, games, or music. People using the device can also use their fingertips to expand and shrink objects on the screen. The screen recognizes people’s hand movements and touches and reacts accordingly. You can bring up an on-screen keyboard to input information.

More info, including a price that’s borderline affordable, after the jump.Continue Reading

Mini Monitor Needs Only USB

By Evan Ackerman

This is a little monitor. A tiny monitor, really. It measures 77mm x 127mm x 17mm, with an LED backlit 4.3 inch WVGA (800 x 480) display. It comes with a little kickstand, and is designed to be used in conjunction with your primary monitor. It’s not specifically a SideShow device (like this), but it kinda acts like one, providing a handy space to stick chat windows or widgets or whatever. The real kicker, though, is that it interfaces via USB and it’s entirely USB bus powered. No inconvenient additional power cords, just plug it into a USB port and it’s ready to go. And, um, it costs about $200.

Yes, it’s really freakin’ expensive, but my best (and only) guess is that you’re paying for the fact that it’s small and bus powered. I hate power cords so much that I’d just about be willing to pay this ludicrous price and have the option to attach a secondary monitor to my laptop (or even to one of these) without having to worry about an outlet.

[ GeekStuff4U ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Dell Latitude E6400 Includes Software Privacy Screen Option

Dell Latitude E6400 (Image courtesy Dell)
By Andrew Liszewski

Tired of people trying to sneak a peek at your screen while you’re surfing at the airport? Or maybe you have a penchant for clicking NSFW links even while at work? If that’s the case, the next time you upgrade your laptop you might want to seriously consider the Latitude E6400 from Dell. It’s the first in their lineup to include an electronic privacy screen that can be quickly activated or deactivated using a keyboard shortcut, or with Dell’s ControlPoint bloatware. The privacy screen is actually software based, and it creates a pixel-based pattern on the screen that dramatically reduces the side viewing angles, while having a minimal impact on the screen’s brightness. Unfortunately the privacy screen is a ridiculous $139 option, but since it’s a software solution, I would just wait for the inevitable third-party alternatives that should be popping up for download any minute now.

[ Dell Latitude E6400 ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

BrainLAB’s Digital Lightbox Is Like A Giant iPhone For X-Rays

Digital Lightbox (Image courtesy BrainLAB AG.)
By Brian Liszewski

If you’ve ever been to the hospital for a broken bone, or have seen a character on House or E.R. suffer the same fate, you’ve probably seen those old-fashioned lightboxes hanging on the walls that doctors use to read x-rays. But a company called BrainLAB is bringing those lightboxes into the 21st century by replacing them with a 30-inch iPhone-esque touch screen that’s linked to a hospital’s digital PACs or Picture Archiving System.

The Digital Lightbox can be mounted in an O.R., treatment room or doctor’s office, and it uses an intuitive touch-based interface like Microsoft’s Surface or the iPhone OS. It allows medical personnel to examine various types of images including MRIs, x-rays, PET scans as well as 3D data, and even allows multiple scans or photos to be layered so they can be easily compared. Like the iPhone, images can be navigated or enlarged with the flick of a finger but unlike the iPhone, the Digital Lightbox can also load non-proprietary file types like WMVs or AVIs.

[ BrainLAB’s Digital Lightbox ] VIA [ Medgadget ]

Double-Sided Touch Panel Makes All My Electronic Tic-Tac-Toe Dreams Come True

Double-Sided Touch Panel (Image courtesy Tech-On!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Developed by the Teraokaseiko company, this double-sided touch panel was recently shown at the 2008 Sign & Display Show in Tokyo. While the orange monochrome electroluminescent display has a less than impressive 256×120 pixel resolution, it’s the functionality provided by the two resistive touch panels attached to each side that will get people excited. Besides making my ‘2-player touch version of tic-tac-toe while the players are in different rooms’ dreams come true, the technology should also facilitate those concept PDAs and UMPCs we’ve seen where you navigate by touch on the underside of the display so the content isn’t blocked by your hands. (And yes, the touch panels do allow you to tap, slide and even “pinch” the content just like on the iPhone.)

[ Tech-On! – Double-faced Touch Panel Display Debuts ] VIA [ DVICE ]

New Interactive Holographic Display Could Help Us Finally Destroy The Death Star

3D Holographic Display (Image courtest ICT Graphics Lab)
By Andrew Liszewski

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s ICT Graphics Lab have created a new type of holographic display that can generate simultaneous 3D views for multiple observers without the need for special glasses. The setup also happens to be relatively inexpensive since it’s built around a specially modified off-the-shelf DLP projector that works with a spinning mirror.

The system works by projecting high-speed video onto a rapidly spinning mirror. As the mirror turns, it reflects a different and accurate image to each potential viewer. Our rendering algorithm can recreate both virtual and real scenes with correct occlusion, horizontal and vertical perspective, and shading.

What that means is that the projected hologram is updated about 200 times a second to adjust for the height and distance of the viewers so that the object being displayed always appears to stay in one place, no matter where you move. And besides all the hardware and software innovation that went into this holographic display, I have to give the researchers at the ITC Graphics Lab credit for going with the 1980’s wireframe TIE Fighter model which ensures their research and website will get plenty of free publicity. I’ve also included a video of the display in action after the jump.

[ ICT Graphics Lab – Rendering for an Interactive 360º Light Field Display ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

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Honlai Technology MP100 Mini Projector

Honlai Technology MP100 Mini Projector (Image courtesy DigiTimes)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m definitely looking forward to the day when video projectors are small enough to fit inside a cellphone, but that’s still quite a few years off. If you want to get your hands on a compact projector today, this is pretty much as small as they come. The MP100 from Honlai Technology uses LCoS or ‘liquid crystal on silicon’ micro-projection technology. It’s similar to the way a DLP projector works, but it uses liquid crystals instead of individual mirrors. While the MP100 is small enough to sit in your hand, it can reportedly produce a projected image between 5 to 37 inches in size.

It uses a 5W LED as its lamp source giving it a brightness of about 10-15 lumens, and a contrast ratio of about 200:1. It also features a standard VGA input as well as a mini AV jack and composite video connections. The rendered mockup pictured above even seems to have slots for compact flash and SD cards, but specific details seem hard to come by at this point. Not surprisingly the MP100 only has a resolution of just 640×480 pixels, which will probably keep it relegated to emergency PowerPoint presentations, or crappy vacation slideshows.

[ Honlai Technology MP100 Mini Projector ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

LG Launches Two Stretched Display Monitors In The UK

LG Stretched Display Monitos (Image courtesy T3)
By Andrew Liszewski

At first glance you might think these new stretched displays from LG are the perfect solution if you’re looking for a bit more desktop real estate. But the 38 inch M3800S-BN only has a resolution of 1366 x 398 while the 29 inch M2900S-BN manages to squeeze in just a bit more at 1366 x 480. So while they’re fine for their intended use of displaying information in large commercial areas like shopping malls or train stations, they’re pretty much useless for home or office use.

Other features include a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 9ms (grey-to-grey) response time and various digital and analog video inputs. In fact the only feature I can find that might make these stand out (besides their stretched form factor) is that the power, contrast, brightness and volume controls for multiple displays can all be controlled from a single computer. And while I’ve never installed hundreds of information displays in a public place before, I imagine a feature like that is almost essential.

[ LG stretches the point ] VIA [ Digital Drops ]