Would this idea be possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by appleguy123, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #1
    Okay if this is possible please don't patent and/or steal the idea. I am just curious if this is possible. Idea:
    A lot of us who own Apple's excessively glossy displays, often find ourselves in places where lighting makes it not favorable to use the product due to glare or reflections. Now with Active noise cancelation we can have headphones that analyze sound and produce waves opposite to annoying sounds to cancel the noise altogether! Now is this possible with displays? The idea would be that your iSight camera would analyze light around you (of course you could turn it off!) and produce something that combines the light around you (and where it would reflect on the screen) and the image on your display, and produces images that make the light glare invisible! I am no physicist, in fact I am only 16, so obviously this has no scientific background. How I imagine it could be is where light is glaring on the display (they could even implement cameras in the display a la Microsoft Surface) the display would get brighter and where light is not the screen dimmer. It would also need to run an operation( the gpu can do this?) to make sure the brightness seems uniform throughout the product.
    This is the other idea I had although I cannot explain it well because I am not a scientist: The display would analyze light glaring on the screen run an operation to get rid of the glare by using the first method along with blending the opposite color (I think thats what it is. I might mean wave or spectrum sorry) to produce a true image without any glare.
    This is favorable to the "Antiglare display" method in that the colors would still have that "pop" that glossy fans love and the no glare that some matte fans go for. As for the photographers who use Matte displays the display will still have to continue to exist. Is this possible? Thoughts on the idea?
    EDIT: Another random idea from the mind of Michael.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    Paragraphs are more possible.
    :)

    But your method of thinking is decent, will it work? I don't know.
     
  3. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #3
    It was really all one flowing idea. One place to break a paragraph would be just as (un)relevant as anywhere else. Not an attack to you I just didn't think there was one perfect place to break the paragraphs up.
     
  4. Nionell macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I like it

    I have no idea about the viability of this idea, but I think the imagination that went into it is pretty cool. The only thing I was thinking about at 16 was how quickly my modem could load pictures ;)

    Oh, and I think that Intellectual Property law states that you can't patent an idea or design once it is in the public domain :p
     
  5. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #5
    Maybe go to engineering school and figure this one out. Seems out of the realm of practicality. Things such as noise canceling headphones are not nearly as advanced as you think, and they make music sound terrible.
     
  6. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #6
    My Bose Qc15 headphones make music sound great! I am no audiophile but I just amazed that they can cancel out ALL the noise!
     
  7. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    The technology already exists, and no camera is required!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coating#Theory

    Antireflective coatings work by creating out of phase reflections that cancel out the regular reflections of visible light. The out of phase cancellation of waves is the same principal noise canceling headphones use, but on a much smaller scale because light has a much smaller wavelength. Typical visible light wavelengths are 400-750 nanometers, and antireflective coatings are typically on that order of thickness.

    Apple doesn't use AR coatings on their glass screens for a few reasons. First, the coating is easier to scratch than glass. This would definitely be a problem on something like an iPhone that gets a lot of contact and wear, but I think scratches aren't too much of a problem on a laptop screen if the correct cleaning cloth is used. Second, it would add to the cost of the screen. AR coatings can get pricey, but they sell picture frames with AR coated glass for not too much more than regular glass. Finally, AR coatings tend to make green or magenta reflections, which would affect the looks of the computer and could possibly affect the color (though I doubt it). It would also take away from the glossy, attention-getting look of the computer. Glossy screens might be more popular because they look good in the store, not because they are better in use.

    I think AR coatings are used on a lot of glossy LCD panels (but not the glass Apple uses), and I know they are used on some CRT monitors. Personally I wouldn't mind a glossy/glassy panel too much if it had a good AR coating. I wear AR coated glasses, and the coating hasn't scratched off after years of almost daily cleaning, and there is no visible color shift. They help for driving at night by reducing glare.

    The problem with your idea is that reflections depend on the position of the viewer's head, so unless you have the iSight detect the viewer, it probably won't work. I can't think of any way to make it work for multiple people viewing the screen. Maybe if you wear glasses with 2 IR LEDs, the iSight could detect them and your position the same way the Wiimote detects the position of the sensor bar. The iSight is somewhat sensitive to IR light, and it could be (theoretically) modified to detect only IR to prevent false readings.
    Look at the head tracking demo on this page
    http://johnnylee.net/projects/wii/
     
  8. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #8
    Yah, they sound better than the cheapies. I guess comparing them to studio headphones probably isnt fair.
     
  9. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #9
    I think it still defeats the original purpose. Doesn't give that pop that glossy fans like. What I am suggesting is independently adjusting brightness in accord to undesired light patterns that would be a cool patent name :)
     
  10. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    An AR coating is different than a matte display. A matte display diffuses reflections, but an AR coating should give you the contrast of a glossy panel without as much glare as a regular glossy panel. If your idea canceled out all glare, there would be no "pop" there either, I think.

    I guess I don't understand how colors "pop" on a glossy display. In a perfectly dark environment, glossy and matte panels should look exactly the same. In an environment with some light, there is some light reflected back by either type, and in a quick comparison between my iPod Touch and my Matte MBP, the reflections on the iPod are much brighter for direct glare, and the diffuse reflection for indirect light is about the same, or a bit brighter on the MBP. In fact, it looks like the LCD under the glass on the iPod is acting like a matte display, in effect giving you the worst of both for glare. The only benefit I can see is that the glossy effect makes it look good in the same way a glossy magazine looks good, but in the end, the glare just gets in the way.

    Antireflective glass could potentially have less reflections than either glossy or matte, resulting in a superior image in all lighting conditions. It won't have that glossy look that gets people to look at it in a store, but everything viewed on the screen should look better.

    It looks like AR coatings are fairly common for glossy LCDs, but Apple insists on extra shiny glass. Maybe the next generation will be 50% mirrored for extra gloss! With Apple's marketing department, they should have no problem selling them.
     
  11. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    First: asking people to not steal the idea is futile. Those that seek to profit from others will do so to the maximum extent permissible under the law.

    Secondly, yes paragraphs are important.

    To cancel the glare you would need to cancel the phase (and frequency) of the incoming light source at the boundary where the reflection occurs (the glass screen). Apple in their retarded wisdom, have added 2 such boundries with their glass panel (the LCD itself has 2 already).

    Even with just a single interface boundary, you would need to have the ability to phase modulate the LCD light, as well as detect the phase of the incoming light source, which you definitely could not do with the iSight camera. It would require a complete redesign of LCD technology and add phase modulators, which are not used for anything other than glare cancellation.

    Now, back to matte screens and AR coatings. The matte screen has an optically 'rough' surface which reflects light 'in-all-directions', this lowers the peak contrast available, but means that in non-darkroom conditions the reflects become diffuse. The human eye-brain interface is usually not so attuned by diffuse reflections, as it is to well-defined ones (see some of the science behind 'sharpness' and USM and how the brain interprets things).

    Regarding Anti-reflection coatings, most of the glossy panels themselves (e.g. Macbook Air), which are behind Apple's extra pane of glass on the MBP, have a AR coating, it gives it a slightly pink hue when seen from the side. UV filters for carmera lenses, and the glass used on the lenses themselves, have the same characteristics.

    The AR coatings lower the inherent reflection of normal glass from 4% to <1% which would be the same as increasing the brightness of the LCD display by a factor of 4 to overpower the reflections.

    AR coatings have been around since before the PC. And multi-layer AR coatings (which are effective across the entire visible spectrum) are a 30-40 commercialised technology. Zeiss and Pentax are some of the forerunners of this, Nikon also knows how to do it well. AFAIK the process is CVD (sputtering) onto a glass substrate. Modern coatings (e.g. my B+W multi-coated UV filter) can allegedly be rubbed with steel wool without damage.

    AFAIK, AR coatings need to be coated on optical quality glass (in terms of flatness and a specified refractive index) and both optical glass and the AR process, is expensive for large glass sizes. I'm sure that if it was commercialised to the LCD industry, then the costs would quickly dwindle down to the 30-40 USD range.
     
  12. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    In a perfectly dark environment the glossy should look better, because the light from the LCD on the matte unit will have been diffused by the matte cover on its way to your eye. *but* in a non-dark room the diffuse nature of the matte screen will lower the peak intensities of the reflection.

    AFAIK with the matte you are trading off the highest possible contrast ratio attainable in a darkroom, for a more uniform (over the area of the screen) contrast ratio when faced with a typical user scenario.

    In a normal room/office, glossy gives you excellent contrast ratio in the areas of the screen where there are no reflections, and terrible contrast ratio in those areas of the screen where there are reflections. Matte, by diffusing the incoming light, it 'averages-out' the reflections (in a spatial sense) across the screen, giving a lower, but more uniform, contrast.

    All the above is IMO, I'm not a optical engineer - I'm an engineer, just not an optical one :)
     
  13. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Not to deter your idea, but I'm not sure it would help a lot.

    I like your style of thinking, reminds me when I was younger (I'm studying engineering now haha). But it think noise canceling isn't very applicable to light.

    First off, the noise canceling works by changing the phase of the sound, it plays back the exact same sound but phased out by 180 degrees. You can think of it as two people holding a rope, if external noises would pull, the noise reducing headphones would give some slack. Or if you a sound the would make a speaker go forward, noise canceling, would play the same sound, the same frequency, only phased out, so at the moment, it would make the speaker go backwards. And when the sound would make the speaker go backwards noise canceling would go forward.

    Mathematically, like this a graph of sin(x) and sin(x - pi). For example, noise from AC electric appliances is a sin wave at 60 hertz (or sixty pulses per second). You see, at every point in x, the sum of both their y values is 0.

    So to cancel noise, you just need a way to capture it, flip the phase and then play it back. Luckily this is fairly simple for sound. You don't need a very good microphone to capture the sound. Flipping the phase on audio is oddly very simple to do as most ways to amplify sound (witch you'll need to do to play it back in the headphones) already flip the phase.

    But if you were to apply this to sound, you get all kinds of problems, first off you need to capture light with enough precision to know the phase of it. Mainly because the frequency of different colours of light are around 10^15 hertz or 10000000000000000 pulses per second. To give you some kind of reference, the speed of your computer is about 10^9 cycles per second. I guess there would be ways that wouldn't need as much camera power or even processing to know the phase of light, but it does give you an idea of how complicated a task that would be. -- To compare it to the headphones, the noise doesn't even need to be processed digitally.

    Then, you would need a for the screen to give out the exact opposite phase, witch would probably be as much trouble as the camera. But more importantly, you'll hit some more important snags. First off, lights as we usually see it is made out of a bunch of different colours, so various frequencies played out at once. So you would need to understand the phase of the different colours all at once. Then the computer's display is made out of only red, green and blue leds... so for example, yellow is a combination of green and red to give the illusion of a single wavelenght, so that would make it impossible to give out the inverse phase.

    Now more importantly, common light is made out of different is made out of a bunch of different phases at once. For example, in the filament of an incandescent lamp let's say a point emmits light, the point all little further from it also emmits light. But when both hit your computer screen, both aren't going to have the same phase because they didn't start at the same point. Since most light doesn't come from a point, it means that light is made out of light at a bunch of different phases... inherently making it impossible to display the opposite phase from it.

    Wow what a long post hahaha. There would probably be a bunch of other problems, the light you emmit, would need to be more powerful than the intruding one, the whole mirroring effects would maybe give a bunch of other problems too.
     
  14. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    AR coatings work by creating out of phase reflections that cancel with normal reflections. To do so, the coating has a different index of refraction than air or glass, so it slows down the light going through it. Light waves in air reflect off the surface of the AR coating, and light waves within the AR coating reflect off the glass, and when they bounce back, since they are going slower than the light waves in air, they are out of phase and the reflections cancel. AR coatings typically target a specific wavelength, but with multiple coatings, multiple wavelengths can be canceled. Even without perfect cancellation, there can still be a big reduction in the intensity of the reflection.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coating#Theory

    My explanation isn't completely consistent with the Wikipedia article, but it's hard to tell since the thick film section isn't explained well. The interference coating section makes sense, though.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coating#Interference_coatings

    I'm not an expert on the subject, though, so don't assume I'm right.
     
  15. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #16
    This thread is too funny. People throwing stuff around like their optics engineers and quoting Wikipedia....
     
  16. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Basically, none of us have any idea what we are talking about.

    Of course, you have to remember this is a mac forum, not an optic or physics forum!
     
  17. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #18
    Someone should get their mbp coated and report back.
     
  18. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    How hard is it to remove the glass and replace it without getting debris/air bubbles under it?

    They sell AR coated glass for some photo frames, and I might be able to get access to a waterjet cutter that could cut a new piece AR coated glass to match the old one. I just don't have a glossy MBP to try it out on.

    edit: removing glass
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=590159
     
  19. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I beg to differ...
     
  20. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a

    Mintin8

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    #21
    Hard to visualize how this could be done. But it would probably not be impossible.
     
  21. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #22
    I cannot contribute much to the optics conversation (only had one year of physics in college), but has anyone seen the museum quality glass that framing shops use like Hobby Lobby? The museum quality glass looks incredible in comparison to the regular glass they offer for custom framing.

    museum quality glass

     
  22. DivineEvil macrumors regular

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    #23
    Read the Structure part... It's only AR coated + the UV extra...

    paolo- explained the problems very well.

    The simplest solution is to find (invent) a (nano)polymer that when in a plain the light 99% passes from one end and is 99% blocked from the other end... Not to mention it has to be tough and has a few dozen of other important qualities... This is simply impossible.

    The alternative is a new LCD technology from Pixel Qi... Search google and will be WOWed...
     
  23. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

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    #24
    Sorry, I was not suggesting the technology already existed. I was trying to suggest another solution. The museum quality glass would make it possible for Apple to keep their glass display without any reflections.
     
  24. Dozerrox macrumors 6502

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    #25
    It only works with headphones because they're in a specific location so the electronics can cancel the phase effectively. As you move around the screen, and the phase cancellation for like would have to be so much more accurate with the smaller wavelengths of visible light.

    If you're suggesting to just change what is shown on the display to counteract reflections, I think it would just make more sense to diffuse the light instead of trying to overpower it.

    Interesting idea though.
     

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