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View Full Version : Invention: Apple's all-seeing screen


MacBytes
Apr 26, 2006, 06:31 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Invention: Apple's all-seeing screen (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060426193124)
Description:: We could soon see a new kind of display screen from computer maker Apple one that simultaneously takes pictures while showing images.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

mpw
Apr 26, 2006, 06:36 PM
Wow, I was thinking about putting the iSight camera in the screen just yesterday.
I was thinking that if you could put the camera in the screen eye contact when video calling would be better, if you've got multiple image sensors I guess that would be true even in a 4-way iChat.

nicksoper
Apr 26, 2006, 06:43 PM
I saw this on slashdot, and I was hoping this was going to be published on the front page, so I could try and get the first post.... But my plan was foiled!

Sensors in the screen is cool, but perhaps people are barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps there is more of a motion tracking agenda in apples plans.

Fair enough people can look straight at the camera, it will work that way, but I think thats where the applications of this technology begins.

Imagine more dynamic touch screens that know how far you are away from the screen, and allow for much more input. I mean we've all seen the video of the multi input touch screen (kinda like minority report), I dont have the link to hand.

Apple is known for inovations in human computer interaction, and I wouldn't put it past them to try and use this for more than just an invisible iSight.

WildCowboy
Apr 26, 2006, 06:49 PM
I saw this on slashdot, and I was hoping this was going to be published on the front page, so I could try and get the first post.... But my plan was foiled!

Don't know that it would make it to the main page again, as it already made it (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060113041940.shtml) up there when this was first revealed back in January.

GeeYouEye
Apr 26, 2006, 06:55 PM
Old news. Still, I'm not sure whether I should be happy or worried that Apple basically has a patent on a telescreen. On the one hand, it is Apple. On the other hand, I'm sure even Apple has it's price.

Daveway
Apr 26, 2006, 07:01 PM
This sounds very scifi, almost too good to be true as of right now. I can't imagine what kind of quality an lcd would offer with this functionality, no good for sure. I keep having ideas of a screen with little dots that resemble dead pixels.

Either way, if you thought the ACDs were expensive, we haven't touched the tip of the pricing iceberg.

mpw
Apr 26, 2006, 07:03 PM
...I keep having ideas of a screen with little dots that resemble dead pixels...
Hey iGary, they're watching you!!!

GeeYouEye
Apr 26, 2006, 07:03 PM
This sounds very scifi, almost too good to be true as of right now. I can't imagine what kind of quality an lcd would offer with this functionality, no good for sure. I keep having ideas of a screen with little dots that resemble dead pixels.

Either way, if you thought the ACDs were expensive, we haven't touched the tip of the pricing iceberg.
Too good to be true? Read 1984.

plinkoman
Apr 26, 2006, 07:36 PM
I saw this on slashdot, and I was hoping this was going to be published on the front page, so I could try and get the first post.... But my plan was foiled!

why do you care about getting the first post? trying to get the first post is meaningless, stupid and immature. not to mention against the rules

Useless posts. Do not bother making posts with only one or two words (e.g., LOL) or a smilie, or post simply to have the first reply in a thread. Such posts waste everyone's time and will be deleted.

in any case, i'm wondering what the quality would be compared to a traditional camera. it'd certainly be interesting to see.

nagromme
Apr 26, 2006, 08:13 PM
Either way, if you thought the ACDs were expensive, we haven't touched the tip of the pricing iceberg.
Seriously. Imagine Apple making their own low-volume LCD panels!

The only way I can see this being practical (in, say, 2067) would be Apple licensing it to lots of companies, who sell displays to a mass cross-platform market. Then you have volume and the cost MIGHT come down to close to what a regular LCD costs. But that volume would depend on Windows PCs making good use of something Apple would probably intend for Macs alone.

It's hard for me to see the economics working out, compared to other videoconferencing solutions. Many Apple patents never become products. I think this is probably one of them.

It's neat though :) But it sounds awkward: the stitching of the images would have to vary depending on your distance to the camera... and an average scene has multiple distances. You couldn't get multiple cameras to see the scene from the same perspective (parallax problem). An object hidden behind your head from one camera would be visible from another camera. It would take more than stitching to make a conventional image out of that. Tiling multiple images taken in different directions from ONE point is one thing (like with QTVR), but this seems much different. I'd be curious to study it more sometime.

nagromme
Apr 26, 2006, 08:21 PM
It would be neat (talk about expensive!) if EACH pixel's camera had the full quality of an iSight. Only one of them would be needed at a time... but iChat would always transmit from the camera at the center of the video window. So even when you drag the window around, eye contact would be maintained :)

And if you have a multi-way chat, each person would receive video from the camera in THEIR window. They'd see your head turn right to THEM when you looked at their window. No matter where on the screen the views might be located.

Meanwhile, we'll have to settle for dragging the iChat window to the top of the screen for best eye contact.

Aussie John
Apr 26, 2006, 09:59 PM
I guess it might go the same way as the invention I read about where by the screen was the speakers

Analog Kid
Apr 26, 2006, 10:43 PM
Sensors in the screen is cool, but perhaps people are barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps there is more of a motion tracking agenda in apples plans.

Fair enough people can look straight at the camera, it will work that way, but I think thats where the applications of this technology begins.

Imagine more dynamic touch screens that know how far you are away from the screen, and allow for much more input. I mean we've all seen the video of the multi input touch screen (kinda like minority report), I dont have the link to hand.

Apple is known for inovations in human computer interaction, and I wouldn't put it past them to try and use this for more than just an invisible iSight.
I think you're probably right. I've been sitting here trying to figure out how they'd get an 30" camera to focus. For what you're talking about, they wouldn't have to. They also wouldn't need sophisticated sensors-- basically just enough to tell if there's a finger on top of it or not.

And yeah, if it were able to read at a moderate distance, you could pull your had away from the screen and the screen could get a 3D perspective of the scene in front of it (parallax across the sensor array).

This also handles the other problem I had which was "geez, that's a lot of trouble to go through for such crappy resolution".

I don't expect to see this anytime soon...

Analog Kid
Apr 26, 2006, 11:58 PM
It's neat though :) But it sounds awkward: the stitching of the images would have to vary depending on your distance to the camera... and an average scene has multiple distances. You couldn't get multiple cameras to see the scene from the same perspective (parallax problem). An object hidden behind your head from one camera would be visible from another camera. It would take more than stitching to make a conventional image out of that. Tiling multiple images taken in different directions from ONE point is one thing (like with QTVR), but this seems much different. I'd be curious to study it more sometime.
Been going through the same kinds of thoughts... What kind of angle of view would you use? Make it too wide and the pixels overlap too much at a distance, make it two narrow and you get pinholes close in.

I don't think they'd try to squeeze more than one sensor pixel per display pixel, so the parallax problem you're describing would result in blur, I think (each point of the observed object will spread to multiple sensor pixels).

greatdevourer
Apr 27, 2006, 12:45 AM
Too good to be true? Read 1984. Telescreens, anyone? :D

winmacguy
Apr 27, 2006, 03:11 AM
I saw this on slashdot, and I was hoping this was going to be published on the front page, so I could try and get the first post.... But my plan was foiled!
First post on MacBytes is not a very big deal. I think it is harder to get first post on MR though.

backupdrummer
Apr 27, 2006, 08:19 AM
Wow if they could build and/or license this Apple would make a killing.

I especially like the idea of using it on cell phones. iPhone anyone?


(sorry had to be done)

calebjohnston
Apr 27, 2006, 08:33 AM
This sounds very scifi, almost too good to be true as of right now. I can't imagine what kind of quality an lcd would offer with this functionality, no good for sure. I keep having ideas of a screen with little dots that resemble dead pixels.

Either way, if you thought the ACDs were expensive, we haven't touched the tip of the pricing iceberg.

Ohhh, I definitely agree with you there. Better start working on selling some of my 39,000 beach homes I guess.

(I'm 18, and have no job. Apparently no life either)

shamino
Apr 27, 2006, 10:26 AM
It would be neat (talk about expensive!) if EACH pixel's camera had the full quality of an iSight. Only one of them would be needed at a time... but iChat would always transmit from the camera at the center of the video window. So even when you drag the window around, eye contact would be maintained :)
Well, that's an interesting approach... :) And definitely expensive.

See also this post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=2055314&postcount=62), I wrote in the original thread. Minolta has been experimenting with lenslet arrays for quite some time. A large grid of low-resolution sensors can (when used in conjunction with appropriate software) take pictures with detail equivalent to a traditional element twice the size of the array, and without any focussing requirements (since each lenslet will be small enough to act as a pinhole lens - which doesn't need focussing.)

If you created an array the size of a standard 19" panel, we're talking about a really high resolution camera that's always in focus.

As for selecting images from behind different windows (your iChat scenario), depending on how the firmware is designed, the system could choose to only use the lenslets in a region of the screen. You'd get a lower resolution image, but it would be directional from the location of those lenslets.

I can't wait to get one for myself. (And to all the 1984 fans, are you equally paranoid about the iSight-equipped iMacs? As long as there's an in-use light, so I'll always know when it's on, I really have no problem with this feature.)