View Full Version : 3D LCDs from Apple?
Dec 24, 2002, 08:03 AM
As you've probably seen, Sharp have developed a 3D LCD technology that requires no glasses and can allow the LCD to operate in normal 2D. Products are expected before end of 2003. See http://sharp-world.com/corporate/news/020927.html and http://news.com.com/2100-1040-978499.html for details.
Could Apple be working on displays utilising this technology? Converting apps to support the new tech is apparently pretty straightforward, and Apple obviously have the advantage of controlling software and hardware.
Imagine being able to look at your 3D models properly and playing 3D games. Also I'm sure someone will have another go at a 3D GUI, whether it will be any good is a different matter.
Dec 24, 2002, 01:00 PM
Not in the near future. Some technology of that kind will surely take its place in the computing systems one day, but it's not possible now. Let us be real...
Dec 24, 2002, 01:41 PM
There is such a small need for 3D screens that it really wouldn't be worth the effort for Apple to market one right now. If the apps and commercial market drive the need higher, then mabe we'll see.
Dec 24, 2002, 03:28 PM
Hmmm, surely Apple should be at the forefront of a move to 3D screens? I haven't seen the technology in action, so it's hard to judge how revolutionary it will be, if at all.
Dec 24, 2002, 04:10 PM
Is it just me, or is a dual-layered LCD screen not *really* that 3D? I mean it fits the definition, but there's only two layers of depth, so you're not going to do much work along the Z axis. Video games maybe, because you can have a background that's actually behind, but otherwise... Unless i'm missing something, and they've figured out how to tweak the system to fool the eyes into producing more than two layers...
Dec 24, 2002, 04:18 PM
i think apple should jump on this like a trampoline (no, you know what i mean).
in the cnet article i noticed a group was formed to "hammer out standards" for this which includes ms (ha! what do they know about standards?!) so apple would be wise to get in there while they can. this could really be great if implemented right.
think of this: quartz to support 3d mode itself, and any apps that choose to utilize it need only create an extension, plugin, whatever you'd call it that changes the way they output graphic content. those that run only in 2d mode will appear as flat surfaces atop windows or other screen objects. perhaps bump mapping as well so widgets don't look flat? 3d would be enabled for only specified areas - for example the 3d viewport in maya would be true 3d but controls and menus don't require it (similar to how opengl or quicktime content can be isolated within an area while other elements are present, and even layered with it).
maybe a bit too much wishful thinking there. then again, quake 3 was modified to use it in just a day.
Dec 24, 2002, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
Is it just me, or is a dual-layered LCD screen not *really* that 3D? I mean it fits the definition, but there's only two layers of depth, so you're not going to do much work along the Z axis. Unless i'm missing something, and they've figured out how to tweak the system to fool the eyes into producing more than two layers...
It is not the depth between the TFT layers that creates the 3D effect. It is the fact that each layer directs the images to a different eye producing stereophonic images. Obviously this creates a situation where there is a very limited viewing area but I'm sure they are working on it. If the cost are not much beyond normal LCD screens I don't see why manufacturers wouldn't include this since the 3D effect can be turned off for traditional viewing.
Dec 26, 2002, 03:01 PM
It's not that the two layers direct two images to the separate eyes.
The "bottom" (the one covered by the other) one is a physically normal LCD.
The top is a transparent sheet which directs the light from alternating columns to each eye. Confused? Alright, from left to right, if you number the pixel cloumns in the normal LCD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. then the transparent layer directs columns 1, 3, 5, etc. to the left, and 2, 4, 6, etc. to the right. So, if you sit fairly centered in front of the screen, your right eye will only see the even-numbered columns, and your left eye will only see the odd-numbered columns.
So, the computer will crank out two images, one for each eye, then software tailored for the screen will split these images so that the left one is displayed on odd columns, and the right one on even columns.
I dun think apple will market a computer that has stereoscopic ability separate from "normal" computers, but then again, apple likes makes money. It'd be better if they just released a hardware/software bundle, that included the top transparent layer and the required software to implement stereoscopy.
Again, each image will have HALF the resolution of a normal display, so any implementation would be VERY questionable.:(
P.S.: looking at stereoscopic screens for extended periods of time wreaks havoc on your eyes, as they focus differently than if they're looking at a normal screen.
Dec 26, 2002, 03:40 PM
Apple developing stereoscopic displays (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/03/20020321211741.shtml)
Dec 28, 2002, 08:05 AM
true... apple might release 3d monitors in a near future
Dec 29, 2002, 06:25 PM
There was an article about that technology in the Circuits Section of the New York Times a while ago. Sounds cool for a home theater...a new dimension of widescreen...but to have your writing wrap around you? have blood spurt towards you in your peripheral vision? see missles flying towards you from all around? It might be cool for a while, a novelty, but it would get incredibly annoying and i would probalby end up turning it off. No chance of apple wasting precous R&D $$$$ on a novelty.