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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Sharp recently made some headlines with the demonstration of a prototype LCD that doubled as a scanner.


Sharp scanner LCD scale.jpg



The 3.5" LCD screen integrated an optical scanner that could be used to scan business cards, but also be used as a method for multi-touch input.
The screen, on show at the Ceatec exhibition, features an optical scanner for each LCD pixel, and could also be used to recognise fingers or other objects.
The prototype is expected to see commercialization in the first half of 2008.

While not directly linked to Apple, the technology is very similar to an old patent application from Apple which described an "Integrated Sensing Display". Apple's patent described possible uses in video conferencing and photos, but could have also been used for a multi-touch display. Of course, Apple has since come out with the iPhone which offers a multi-touch display. The iPhone, however, uses a capacitance-based touch screen, rather than one based on image capture.

Apple continues to research and develop various touch-based technologies. Their most recent patent applications include pressure sensitive input technology on existing touch screens.

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acearchie

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2006
3,264
104
Now that could be an interesting addition to iPhone v2!

but I feel its a bigger wow factor than practability factor!

I would like to see it in action though
 

Virgil-TB2

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,143
1
back to plastic?

... Apple continues to research and develop various touch-based technologies. Their most recent patent applications include pressure sensitive input technology on existing touch screens. ...
As to the pressure sensitive part ...
doesn't this mean that we have to go back to plastic (deformable) screens?

This process certainly won't work with a milimetre or two of glass in front of the display, and Apple has just finished re-tooling their entire line to use glass screens. This kind of implies that this is for a product in the future, not "iPhone 2.0."
 

MattJessop

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
215
43
Manchester, UK
This has the 'potential' to be cool. However in reality it will probably be fiddly, and require you to do retakes and be precise, as current touch screen devices to. But still, it's nice to know that we're getting there eventually.

I wonder if this would lead to your boss watching you while you worked at your computer. Hell, NOBODY'd look at anything remotely adult while they worked. ;)
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,314
33
As to the pressure sensitive part ...
doesn't this mean that we have to go back to plastic (deformable) screens?

This process certainly won't work with a milimetre or two of glass in front of the display, and Apple has just finished re-tooling their entire line to use glass screens. This kind of implies that this is for a product in the future, not "iPhone 2.0."

The reason the iPhone has glass in front is to keep it scratch-free (as opposed to a plastic only screen).
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2003
7,360
8,056
Makes a lot of sense. The color filters used for the LCD, with a photodiode behind them, could make for a very simple scanner. The awkward part would be preventing the backlight from flooding the sensor, and only capturing the reflected light from the object. I don't think this will work as a camera-- your face, for example, would be reflecting light to all the sensors at once creating one big blur. It would require really sophisticated and expensive lensing to be able to keep this flat and viewable while being able to capture an image of an object at any distance.
 

CWallace

macrumors G4
Aug 17, 2007
10,898
8,715
Seattle, WA
Such a device would likely be a plus for businessfolk. Be nice to just drop someone's business card on your iPhone display and it scans into your Contacts.
 

mihiruthere93

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2007
21
0
hmmm... i wonder how much battery this would suck up? and how much memory could be packed on? this would be cool on the ipod touch/iphone v2, but i don't see it coming out for another couple of years (well, at least 1.5)
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
As i said at the time that patent first appeared this has the potential to be very useful indeed. Say this was built into tablet PC, now in a lecture/other situation you get a document that you want to annotate just put it on the display and then there it is on the screen. amazing.
 

MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
I thought of this idea too when I saw the Microsoft multi-touch coffee table. Just put a picture or something on the screen face down and it scans it into the computer :) Cool ideas!

I have heard things about Apple making a display with sensors behind it so you can do iChat video conferencing without an iSight because it it built in behind the screen. Anyone know anything about that???
 

Virgil-TB2

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,143
1
Sharp is probably way ahead of Apple and most others in this field.
Well Sharp has a working model, but Apple's patents precede it by years, and their technology (assuming it ever works well enough) can do far more than just low-res scan a business card.

So Sharp might be ahead on implementation, but assuming Apple's patent is not just hot air, Apple's technology is actually "way ahead" of Sharp's.
 

MBHockey

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2003
4,048
295
Connecticut
Note that Apple doesn't actually have a patent on this, it's just the publication of their patent application. Now, that said, if Sharp hasn't applied for a patent on this technology (which i sincerely doubt), even if Apple does not obtain a patent for it the patent application publication can be used against Sharp's application (assuming the claims are close enough in scope).

It would be interesting to see Sharp's related patent applications and their dates of filing and subsequent publication relating to this technology.
 

Huin

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2005
9
0
That could make for the coolest laptop! Shut your book to scan, flip it open and edit your image! Must be James Bonds favourite gizmo in 2013.

: )
 

ross.32

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2007
259
0
I have had this idea since I saw the Apple patent built into the display for things like iChat. I imagine a 15 inch convertible tablet with 1920x1200 screen with a full screen built-in camera for HD video plus multi-touch. Scanning would even be better than this prototype because you could close the tablet like a laptop and block out outside light to get a better scan. I am predicting one of these for January:D
 

operator207

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2007
487
0
This puts a whole new spin on the old joke about holding the piece of paper up in front of the screen and hitting "print". Talk about coming full circle.
 
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