Apple Integrated Sensing Display?

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Hrmpf.com and Macsiumnews posted information about a new Apple Patent which appeared on January 12th 2006 at the US Patent and Trademark Site.

The Integrated Sensing Display is a device which combines the ability to generate an image as well as capture an image.

A device comprising: a display area; an array of display elements located within the display area, each display element capable of displaying a pixel of information, either alone or in combination with other display elements; and an array of image elements located within the display area, each image element being capable of capturing visual information from a source in front of the display area; wherein each image element has a lens that does not interfere with any display elements.
Uses for the device listed include Portable Communications, Computer Monitors or Televisions, Telephones, PDAs, and Medical Devices. Possible uses described include the use of the combination screen for video conferencing as well as in PDAs or cell phones which "have very limited space for displays and would benefit if additional real estate were not used for a camera."

The patent was filed June 21, 2004.
 

Tymmz

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2005
1,424
149
Sounds interesting!

I wonder what devices our grandchildren will use.
 

redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,138
0
BXL
I read PDA/phone and i'm all happy :D
This would be an excellent birthday present for apple to present themselves.

A little voice in my head is telling me that this tech would take more time to develop though...
who knows
 

maxterpiece

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2003
729
0
Hrmpf - what is this for? Some new kind of consumer device? Maybe future powerbooks... ahem macbook pros, will use this to save space instead of integrating iSight?
 

Kelmon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2005
723
0
United Kingdom
The current integrated iSight at the top of the display helps with this already but I feel that a camera effectively "behind" the display itself will make video conversations feel much more "face-to-face" as you'll be able to look the other person in the eye. I don't expect this technology to have much more application beyond making conversations more comfortable but that's still something nice to have.
 

Marvy

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2003
106
0
Germany
Kelmon said:
The current integrated iSight at the top of the display helps with this already but I feel that a camera effectively "behind" the display itself will make video conversations feel much more "face-to-face" as you'll be able to look the other person in the eye. I don't expect this technology to have much more application beyond making conversations more comfortable but that's still something nice to have.
I agree. Steve has always stressed the importance of looking into the eyes (or atleast the face) of your chat partner. I remember how in one Keynote, he compared chat videos between a camera on top of the screen (iSight), and one standing on the desk. So using this for even better face to face conferencing does sound plausible.

However, it seems that right now this technology is still rather young and limited to small screens only. As it sounds like the each pixel acts as a small camera, manufacturing big screens will probably be way too costly for quite a few years to come.
 

ihayden

macrumors member
Dec 20, 2005
30
0
Auckland, New Zealand
Kelmon said:
The current integrated iSight at the top of the display helps with this already but I feel that a camera effectively "behind" the display itself will make video conversations feel much more "face-to-face" as you'll be able to look the other person in the eye. I don't expect this technology to have much more application beyond making conversations more comfortable but that's still something nice to have.
Exactly but what about iPods and PDA's that dont have room for a camera? This tech would be perfect. I am astounded that this kinda thing exists. I wish I knew how it works. Brilliant idea! Bring on the innovation Apple!:D
 

macidiot

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2002
815
0
If I am reading it right, its for a camera built into the screen? Like embedded into the screen? For some reason I think this has already been done.

oops, I just looked and what I saw was a speaker embedded into the screen... So this is different.
 

Baldanzi

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2005
41
0
Palad1 said:
Damn you beat me to it!
Sorry...Telescreen was the right word. Its been a really long time since I've read that book.

Seems appropriate though since Apple did have that awsome "1984" Macintosh commercial.
 

Palad1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2004
647
0
London, UK
Dunno if it is really appropriate, as in the 1984 ad, Apple set us free from Big Brother.

It would seem that after 22 years of fighting Big Brother, Apple is about to land on the same side...

Friedrich Nietzsche said:
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
I think I'll have this quote engraved in my Rev.C MacBook Pro Extreme :D
 

Trowaman

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2003
598
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CD: TX-14
HA! I know where they're going.

My theory all along has been iChat to go in iPods, and this could be it. I never figured how'd they'd get the camera in it, this is how. Put the camera behind the display. Toss in airport, and "boom" iChat where ever.

Apple skips the mobile phone market, goes straight to video chats to go.

Also, after media jukebox, what's next? Media creation. The iPod holds all your content now let it capture it in photos or movies with a camera.

I consider the last iPod the last version of "iPod 1." "iPod 2" is starting this year. :-D
 

petej

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2004
132
0
Don't get too carried away with the iChat idea. The techincal challenges of doing this are massive. Just think about how you would manage to focus and zoom so many individual cameras. My guess is that this is either a good idea that they want to patent but technology is a long way off or the idea is not for iChat purposes but more for scanning documents or sensing finger position.
If Apple go for a tablet PC design something like this could work. Imagine just laying a document you want to copy onto your tablet and hey presto and automatic scan. The display elements illuminate the document and the sensors read it. Control the tablet using a finger or stylus but with the advantage that there is no sensor layer sitting on top of the screen detecting pressure.
 

Baldanzi

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2005
41
0
Palad1 said:
Dunno if it is really appropriate, as in the 1984 ad, Apple set us free from Big Brother.

It would seem that after 22 years of fighting Big Brother, Apple is about to land on the same side...



I think I'll have this quote engraved in my Rev.C MacBook Pro Extreme :D
No kidding, since there are some rumors flying about regarding the new version of iTunes tracking and telling Apple what you are listening to....:cool:
 

Palad1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2004
647
0
London, UK
petej said:
If Apple go for a tablet PC design something like this could work. Imagine just laying a document you want to copy onto your tablet and hey presto and automatic scan. The display elements illuminate the document and the sensors read it. Control the tablet using a finger or stylus but with the advantage that there is no sensor layer sitting on top of the screen detecting pressure.
Real world Copy 'n Paste. My buddy Fromage and I dreamed about that all through university...
 

hashkey

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2004
13
0
So..

Does the fact that they have patented the idea mean that they can actually do it?
 

wonderkid

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2005
34
0
Three Prior Art alerts...

It may well have expired by now, but AT&T patented and presented in an old TV commercial, a large flat panel display with a 'camera' embeded within the display pixels. And I may be wrong, but Toshiba MAY have also dabbled in the idea. Furthermore, in 1991 I was involved in promoting a prototype display technology developed at Imperial College here in London based upon an Optical Waveguide. By the nature of its construction, the optical waveguide could both emit and detect light. Anyway, am sure Apple have discovered all this through any patent searches. 'alexblok AT owonder DOT com'
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,634
104
middle earth
This is a weird one, and hard to figure out. Does the camera really take up that much space on your cell phone? I know it doesn't on the new macbook. Seems like a really cool solution in search of a problem to me...

Still - could be interesting! What this means is that it will be easier than ever to embed video cameras in devices where you do not expect them to be.
 

mi5moav

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2004
223
0
The lenses do not have to be included in all the pixels. So, this could work for a 2" screen or a 200" screen since the sensors may only have to be within a 1/2" square space of pixels to capture the image in front of the screen. This application could go well beyond what you are talking about, from advertising, to medicine, to mirrors, to government facilities to creating 6 sided cubes rotating and specific intervals each with these embedded sensors. David Copperfield is going to love this. I could just see this huge LCD billboard in times square with these sensors when you walk by it captures your image and then photoshops your image so that you are wearing the new victoria secrets fall lineup. Great in dressing rooms. The mirror is and LCD embedded with the camera. Then you can even try on clothes without trying on clothes... The mirror takes a photo of you, you then decide what you want to wear and presto bango you can go through the entire store without actually trying on clothes... plus the new model of LCD wardrobe mirrors allows you to decrease and increase how the clothes will look when you are 20 pounds lighter or 20 pounds heavier. Or even better yet and LCD rearview mirror in your car with night vision mirrors... in fact you could have 4 or 5 kinds of mirrors embedded into the screen... infared, motion, night, normal, noise sensing. Though of course all this seems crazy since it's probably a heck of a lot less expensive stinking a tiny lens like that of these new isights in a couple of hidden strategic locations...unless they don't want you to know there is a lens in the screen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!