Displays will become ubiquitous input devices, like
the one shown here with a 10-finger touch screen.
Courtesy of 3M.
Texas Instruments of Dallas has a
micromirror-based digital light processor
(DLP) chip set small enough to be embedded in a cell phone. The chip works by reflecting light from a source, such as an
LED. Frank Moizio, DLP emerging markets business manager, noted that the technology allows for a 20-in. projected image
to be visible in ambient light.
Doing so would allow the display on a
cell phone to be shared anywhere there’s a
suitable surface, such as a wall, with the
inherent switching speed enabling high
contrast, a wide color range, sharp images
and more, Moizio said. “In addition, it allows for advanced features like 3-D imaging using stereoscopic techniques.”
For those who don’t care about sharing
images, a third 3-D variation involves
miniature displays mounted in the glasses
themselves. These small displays act as
virtual larger ones, thus providing the visual cues needed for 3-D imagery. There
are also ways to achieve 3-D effects without glasses, but today most flat panels that
do this are limited in size for cost reasons.
These autostereoscopic approaches also
don’t work as well, at present, as other
methods when fast-moving images are involved.
The right touch
While 3-D may be attracting attention,
another strong theme is screens that do
more than just display information, they
also act as input devices through the use
of touch or other means. Methuen, Mass.-based 3M Touch Systems, a 3M subsidiary, recently released a 10-finger multitouch developer kit that Kelly Devin,
marketing manager for the company, said
is based on projected capacitive technol-
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