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A Professional Perspective On Apple's Retina Display

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the eye-for-an-eye dept.

Iphone 346

Reader BWJones, who is a retinal scientist, sends in this detailed analysis of the iPhone 4's "retinal display," which includes photomicrographs of the display pixels of earlier generations of iPhone as well as the iPad. Well worth a read. "... as you can see from these images of the displays I captured under a microscope, the pixels are not square. Rather they are rectangular, and while the short axis is 78 microns, the long axis on the iPhone 4 pixel is somewhere in the neighborhood of 102 microns. ... While [an earlier analysis by] Dr. Soneira was partially correct with respect to the retina, Apple's Retina Display adequately represents the resolution at which images fall upon our retina. ... [I] find Apple's claims stand up to what the human eye can perceive."

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690202)

This post is for the glory of the GNAA!

it gets great reception too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690994)

Just try not to touch it when you use it. Apple was brilliant to use the body as antenna. In the next model they might even insulate the antenna from your hands!

Too literal (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690218)

Apparently we should never ask a scientist, "How do you like *them* Apples?"

Re:Too literal (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690868)

It seems I saw this story last week here? Or was that a different guy? TFA is slashdottet so I can't tell. At any rate, "retinal display" is meaningless. Your retina can only resolve as good as what your cornea and lens can accurately focus on it. Someone in their 40s will be holding the thing at arm's length, while someone nearsighted might have it six inches from their face without their glasses. And like focusing, retinal density will vary at least slightly from person to person.

It's meaningless hype, good for marketing.

Re:Too literal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690984)

Never ask a Dr. he gets to park anywhere, use personalized number plates and fucking around on their iMacs.

Re:Too literal (1)

uprise78 (1256084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691132)

"A Professional Perspective On Apple's Retina Display" I thought everyone who puts words on the Internets was a professional....seems redundant

Units of measurement (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690224)

Heck, even with my glasses off, I can usually see human beings, and they're generally less than 2m in any direction.

Re:Units of measurement (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690290)

For some stupid reason Slashdot filters out greek letters such as , , , , and . That was supposed to say 2m.

Re:Units of measurement (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690414)

That was supposed to say 2m.

And it did. It said "2 meters". (or 2/3 of 3M, if for some reason you were referring to a majority fraction of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company [wikipedia.org] ).

Greek letter. like, mu? as in micro? as in ?<--note the missing letter

Slashdot doesn't accept either the unicode or HTML entity for any of the Greek alphabet, as far as I can tell.

Makes many scientific discussions pretty difficult, really. That's the ol' Slashdot we know and love.

Re:Units of measurement (-1, Offtopic)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690466)

It said "2 meters".

What is this "meter" you speak of .. I only know of the metre. Unless you were using some new fangled musical notation that I don't know of.

Re:Units of measurement (0, Redundant)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690592)

What are these meters you speak of? I only know of the yard.

Re:Units of measurement (3, Informative)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690656)

It said "2 meters".

What is this "meter" you speak of .. I only know of the metre. Unless you were using some new fangled musical notation that I don't know of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter [wikipedia.org]

The metre (or meter), symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#-re.2C_-er [wikipedia.org]

In British usage, some words of French, Latin, or Greek origin end with a consonant followed by -re, with the -re unstressed and pronounced /r/. Most of these words have the ending -er in the United States. The difference is most common for words ending -bre or -tre: British spellings centre, goitre, kilometre, litre, lustre, mitre, nitre, reconnoitre, saltpetre, spectre, theatre, and titre all have -er in American spelling, as do calibre, fibre, sabre, and sombre.

Happy to clear that up for you.

Re:Units of measurement (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691086)

Happy to clear that up for you.

I think what you meant to say was "Happy to be a pompous asshole for you."

Re:Units of measurement (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690824)

>What is this "meter" you speak of .. I only know of the metre
I'm in the UK and I've only seen the meter spelling.
http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/meters-to-feet.htm [metric-conversions.org]

Re:Units of measurement (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690978)

Then I can only conclude that you've never attended (or perhaps just not paid attention in) any science classes - a meter is something used to measure or detect something (e.g. a voltmeter), while a metre is the SI unit of distance.

Either that or standards have dropped drastically in the last 15 years or so, in which case I'll be having some rather forthright discussions with the teachers I know...

Re:Units of measurement (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691152)

It's oddly ironic that /. doesn't allow such nerdy things as Greek letters and proper SI units.

Re:Units of measurement (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690426)

you mean 2m...

Re:Units of measurement (1)

strayant (789108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690474)

More importantly, much to our dismay, /. also filters

Re:Units of measurement (5, Interesting)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691262)

Some say it's impossible to see a target that small, but I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters.

Bill

slashdotted (0, Redundant)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690226)

First? And its slashdotted already! Anyone got a rehosted copy?

Re:slashdotted (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690646)

The images aren't here, but here's a Google cache of the site, so you can at least read the article. I'm working with Bryan to get the box statically caching and back up, be patient. :)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/2010/06/apple-retina-display/&hl=en&strip=1

Re:slashdotted (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691234)

Yes it's slashdotted before the first post... Don't you know on Slashdot, those who RTFA don't post, and those who post don't RTFA?

B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing company? (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690248)

People love to whine about all the Apple stories. I would defy any of them to submit their own stories about all the other computer companies that are breaking new ground with this type of research. Do you think Dell for example has a team of physics PHDs figuring out these technologies and pushing their vendors to tool up for them? No, THOSE are the guys just packaging off-the-shelf reference designs. Or waiting for the exclusivity on Apple's deal with [insert obscure pacific rim manufacturer here] to expire so they can make a similar looking phone a few years later.

Apple is a design company (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690366)

People love to whine about all the Apple stories. I would defy any of them to submit their own stories about all the other computer companies that are breaking new ground with this type of research. Do you think Dell for example has a team of physics PHDs figuring out these technologies and pushing their vendors to tool up for them? No, THOSE are the guys just packaging off-the-shelf reference designs. Or waiting for the exclusivity on Apple's deal with [insert obscure pacific rim manufacturer here] to expire so they can make a similar looking phone a few years later.

Do you think Apple has a team of physics Ph Ds figuring this out? (Hint: no.)

Apple deserves credit for identifying this technology and bringing it to market. That's a worthwhile and necessary pursuit, no matter what the Slashdot detractors say. But Apple is not doing groundbreaking research into materials science or manufacturing here; it's merely bringing them to market in an attractive way.

Re:Apple is a design company (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690504)

I'm guessing you have never actually worked with Asian manufacturers. New stuff doesn't just fall out of the sky for whoever is lucky enough to "identify" it. For a customer the size of Apple it is a very close partnership and seldom does the manufacturer fully own the resulting technologies. So either you help them develop the next big thing and you get some degree of exclusivity, or you wait for someone else to pioneer it and then you get it a few years later.

Professional Perspective? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690428)

A professional perspective on Slashdot?

No, no, no. Slashdot is populated by all kinds of unquestionable experts on absolutely everything. We don't need no stinking professionals.

Shit, why ask a professional when you have dateless geeks on Slashdot to render judgment?

Re:Professional Perspective? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691058)

These are simple factual claims.

You don't need to depend on the science equivalent of an Imam or a Bishop for your answer.

You can test the claims yourself.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690464)

Why would dell? they don't make electronics. They build computers byu assembling other peoples electronics.

I have submitted stories about real ground breaking technologies from:
Intel
Giga-Byte
Nasa
Chevy
IBM
MS.
and many, many others. I stop submitting 2 years ago because I had not had a submission accepted since 99.

Now, I don't mind the apple stories. It's not like this is a limited space newspaper.

BTW that tech isn't as ground breaking as you seem to think. It's like there isn't much there in regard to new tech, so people are glomming onto and straws they can grasp to justify waiting hour to buy a product that they could walk in and buy in 2 weeks. Hell it might even be fixed by then.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691042)

They build computers byu assembling other peoples electronics.

A lot of people would have you believe that's all Apple does, too. But there is some real invention in the products they make, just like there is real invention in products from Dell, Intel, Gigabyte, IBM... etc.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690574)

This is just buying into the hype. Apple came out with a new phone that happens to have the highest pixel density yet (325 ppi). The next closest is the Motorola Droid at 265 ppi. About 20% higher than the competition... Not really a groundbreaking move by Apple, just them taking another step toward higher density displays. It's what any company would have done. Where was the news story when the Droid came out, besting Apples then best display on the 3GS (of 163ppi) by 40%?

Disclaimer: I don't have an Iphone, or a Droid, but I do have a brain and I tend to use it when I smell hype.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690922)

Yeah, I forgot, slashdot has completely ignored the release of the Android.

20% here, 40%, that's all great. What's interesting about this (to a "nerd") is that apple is saying that's there's no reason to go any further. People are verifying the claim. You ignore this part of it in your post. That makes you stupid.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690964)

Where was the news story when the Droid came out, besting Apples then best display on the 3GS (of 163ppi) by 40%?

The difference is that Motorola did nothing to tout their higher-density display. Shock and surprise! -- when you loudly proclaim your new achievements (even if they're not particularly revolutionary), people pay attention.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691098)

So Apple's success really all just marketing and hype?

Thanks for clearing that up that for us.

It's not about the technology. It's about the salesmen.

This is a site for "nerds". We shouldn't let Apple's advertising agency lead us around by the nose.

Droid at 265 ppi was no big deal. (5, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690996)

"Where was the news story when the Droid came out, besting Apples then best display on the 3GS (of 163ppi) by 40%

Didn't Droid come out 7 months ago? The only way it would have been a story is if it hadn't been able to top the resolution that the iPhone has had since what... 2007?

Note that Apple didn't market their device as having higher resolution than a competing device. They are marketing it as being so high that it no longer matters.

The point is it wasn't a selling point (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691074)

The point is it wasn't a selling point. Nobody other than Apple or their fans thought of "this is like half the resolution of the human retina at 12"". Apple did and "forgot" that the eye resolves an edge which requires TWO pixels to resolve, not one.

"Note that Apple didn't market their device as having higher resolution than a competing device."

Yes they are. That is why they called it "retina display" and said that it was a revolution. Rose tinted retina?

Way to selectively cut and paste. (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691228)

What you claim I said: "Note that Apple didn't market their device as having higher resolution than a competing device."

Your reply: "Yes they are. That is why they called it "retina display" and said that it was a revolution. Rose tinted retina?"

What I REALLY said: "Note that Apple didn't market their device as having higher resolution than a competing device. They are marketing it as being so high that it no longer matters."

Now, either show me some proof that Apple has said, "The IPhone 4 has better resolution than (insert some competing device)" or go away.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691258)

This is just buying into the hype. Apple came out with a new phone that happens to have the highest pixel density yet (325 ppi). The next closest is the Motorola Droid at 265 ppi. About 20% higher than the competition... Not really a groundbreaking move by Apple, just them taking another step toward higher density displays. It's what any company would have done. Where was the news story when the Droid came out, besting Apples then best display on the 3GS (of 163ppi) by 40%?

Disclaimer: I don't have an Iphone, or a Droid, but I do have a brain and I tend to use it when I smell hype.

There probably wasn't a news story specifically on that feature, but there probably was a story that listed that as a feature. The reason the Retina Display (is | may be|) worth a story is that is surpasses an important threshold (they eye's ability to see distinct pixels). Similarly if when movies came out (this is totally made up, do not take this as a history lesson) they started at 10 FPS, an increase to 20 would be a 100% increase, but wouldn't be as interesting as the increase from 20 to 30 (which is only a 50% increase) when the flickering stopped.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691276)

This is just buying into the hype..

Apparently, we are at a point in the American market where iJobs can say anything he wants, to advertise his latest plastic. I mean, Jesus, the Apple marketing department is out-and-out lying, now, and the Apple troops are just nodding their collective heads in unison. If Apple built an SUV, iJobs would be claiming it gets 500mpg. Before the next iZombie corners me on the virtues of his iThing, I'd like to request that they first consider how far the iJobs marketing department has screwed their perspective. Your iThing does NOT get 500mpg, even though they are telling you to repeat it.

Apple is a marketing company (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690652)

  1. High pixel resolutions are not groundbreaking.
  2. Apple did not invent any of the technology in the iPhone and does not have a team of PhDs working on designs
  3. Apple is great at designing and marketing products that feature the inventions of other people
  4. IBM, Intel, AMD, etc. all design new technologies
  5. Have a nice day

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (5, Funny)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690678)

I like Apple, but let me be the first to say they they do need a team of physics PHDs to work on antenna design...

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691182)

Just shut up and spend 30 more bucks on the rubber overcase that makes your new cellphone look the same as a 3G.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (4, Interesting)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690694)

Hummm, I thought IPS was developed by Hitachi? And I assumed that Apple just brought this to market (and probably did some final work on it). So yes, I have exactly the attitude to Apple that you think I do.

Relative to other companies their size Apple has a massive marketing budget and a puny R&D budget. Recently we've been hearing about how Apple has grown bigger then MS, but their R&D budget was 10% of Microsoft's in 2009. Investors have became angry with other companies for spending so much on R&D and they point to the example of Apple that makes better much money by spending their money on marketing.

In the case of this display, Apple's problem was that they couldn't get Samsung's Super AMOLED display. If they had, I"m sure you would be telling us about Apple incredibly ground-breaking R&D on reducing the power consumption of a display. Apparently though, now that the iPhone 4 is using IPS, we've decided that 'retinal' resolution is the key and giving thanks to Apple for inventing that.

Re:B-b-b-but I thought Apple was a marketing compa (1, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690968)

Odd, there are no comments above yours whining that there are too many apple stories.

Fantastic display (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690252)

And since you can't actually HOLD the fucking phone to make calls, looking at it is all you're going to do with it.

Re:Fantastic display (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690876)

And since you can't actually HOLD the fucking phone to make calls, looking at it is all you're going to do with it.

I have one, do you? Cause that antenna stuff sounds like FUD. I've seen the bar go down one when i hold it funny, but it's not bad, and i'm a lefty.

Maybe you should try a product before commenting on it.

Re:Fantastic display (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691004)

I've seen the bar go down one when i hold it funny, but it's not bad, and i'm a lefty.

I don't have one, but the report I read said it seemed to be worse when held in the left hand, as (usually) done by rightys. So you may be better off as a lefty.

Re:Fantastic display (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691090)

I've tried it (normal-handed person holding it left-handed), and dropped the signal from 4/5 to no connection at all, followed by the phone taking a couple of minutes to reconnect to the mobile network after I'd let go of it and handed it back to its owner.

It didn't happen for him, we think due to difference in skin conductivity.

okay, it's silly marketing, but (4, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690256)

I'm really happy to see screen resolution getting attention. My Vaio U101 had a pretty decent ppi, but it's long in the tooth and that that class of system -- always a niche -- has basically been displaced from the market by netbooks. And I'm sick of netbooks with low-res screens. Hopefully this will catch on as an important feature.

(I'm double-sick of people saying: "But if there's a higher-resolution screen, everything gets tiny and hard to see. So low-res is better for small screens." Ahhhh! You're doing it wrong!)

Re:okay, it's silly marketing, but (4, Interesting)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690394)

I agree, imagine if we had computer screens with this pixel density! We could finally have smoothly scalable *and* sharp fonts. It would also stop the need to add hinting to fonts, which is apparently really tedious and difficult.

Re:okay, it's silly marketing, but (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690788)

Given the viewing distances necessary, we already do - the IBM T221. 3840x2400, at 22.2". Straight from 2001. (And discontinued in 2005 or 2006, depending on market.)

204 PPI, but again, the viewing distances make it such that the T221 would have similar effective density to the iPhone 4.

My main machine is a ThinkPad T60p with a 2048x1536 display retrofitted, that's "only" 171 PPI, but it gets the job done, and it's more flexible than a desktop.

Re:okay, it's silly marketing, but (1)

nojayuk (567177) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690956)

The T221 display had crap colour definition, low contrast especially off-axis, slow refresh and it required four video channels to drive it. Video and photo reproduction wasn't its forte though, what it was great at doing was putting a lot of numbers and graphs in front of someone's eyeballs. It mainly sold into scientific and engineering environments (CAD, PCB and chip layout etc.) and financial trading houses but it was never aimed at Joe Public.

You see them turn up on Ebay occasionally, still commanding decent resale prices. If you do buy one make sure you get all the bits like the special cable harnesses etc.

Re:okay, it's silly marketing, but (1)

smtrembl (1073492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690972)

It would if the UI scaled gracefully.

Re:okay, it's silly marketing, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691222)

thinpad x201s comes with a 1440x900 12.1" screen

Gotta admit (1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690278)

Regardless of my thoughts on Apple as a business, the new iPhone is an attractive bit of hardware. If only Jobs wasn't being such a bastard [arstechnica.com] about the antenna problems...

Re:Gotta admit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690384)

You don't get it. How do you hold your stick is very important when you're casting spells! Remember: this is a magical device!

Re:Gotta admit (1)

danmart1 (1839394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690534)

I totally agree. A gyroscope? Amazing idea. A ridiculous resolution? Fabulous. Unfortunately, they (apple) have done too much that I consider unethical to ever buy/use their products. And their QC solution to their recent antenna problem is not something most consumers would accept, except anyone who used Vista.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690850)

FYI, the gyroscope isn't an actual spinning gyroscope. It's a tuning fork that senses angles. Old technology.

What about other non-apple devices? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690294)

I remember the HTC Fuze, when it came out it had a full VGA (480-by-640-pixel) resolution 2.8-inch LCD. Wouldn't be not only fair, but also interesting to compare to other brands in the market? I mean from the scientific perspective?

Re:What about other non-apple devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690608)

The HTC Touch Diamond 2 came out over a year ago with a 480 * 800 resolution. Apple's pixel density is a Magical 10% higher, which Changes Everything. Again.

Re:What about other non-apple devices? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690786)

I own a Fuze, and the screen is very nice. The only problem is that the OS it runs was made for a stylus, and the input system is very difficult when you try to use it with a finger. IMHO, Apple has sacrificed usability for developer convenience on the iP4. By a simple doubling of the resolution (per axis, for the pedants out there), they can 2x the existing apps and nobody is any the wiser. I have a 3Gs, and there are certain things I prefer on the Fuze (God, I miss my keyboard) - but the user interface/input is so far superior I'm willing to live witht he shortcomings of the iPhone

If Apple were really interested in maximizing the interface, they could have reworked it just a bit to get a 16:9 screen, which would have been much nicer for landscape media. They also could have shifted the speaker up a bit to eliminate some of that annoying, wasted bezel space.

Me? I'd have been happy with 480x854 - I think 640 is overkill and will require more graphics processing (i.e. power consumption) than is actually necessary). But I suppose Jobs decided to give iP4 users at least one metric where you would win in a measuring contest.

Meh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690312)

Am I the only one to think thats these articles are ridiculous ?

Either your screen is great and people see it by themselves, or it suck and they see it too. Going around with a "scientific paper that prove its greatness" makes it sound like a scam.

TL;DR if you need mathematical proof that it's beautiful, you're doing it wrong

Re:Meh (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690446)

I'd give your criticisms more merit, if the article were available for you and I to even read it and label it thusly!

Personally, I'm glad that when someone labels something with a scientific term, for marketing purposes or otherwise, scientists show up with their Domes of Understanding.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690852)

Well, you know, the whole thing started with people using maths to try and prove it wasn't good.

Scientists confirm (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690360)

that people can in fact see the iPhone.

I know what he is getting at, and it's good. I just couldn't pass up that joke.

We knew this years ago ... (5, Interesting)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690380)

... which is why "laser quality" is 300 dpi. We knew fax looks like shit because it's 200 dpi. It's why chemical photo prints are almost 300 dpi. Why print artwork is done at 300 dpi. The "300 dpi pleases the retina" thing is like 25 or more years old. 300 is the most important point on the resolution scale.

But of course if Steve Jobs says it, then the Nerd Police have to say it's wrong. If it didn't happen in a video game or a Windows patch then they don't fucking know. As if Apple doesn't know about graphics and publishing!

Re:We knew this years ago ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690590)

i wouldnt say apple knows about graphics or publishing. i think it's more likely artists and publishers historically didnt know squat about computers... so they bought macs

Re:We knew this years ago ... (2, Funny)

dtassinari (1418761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690654)

Good point: I never actually thought about that.

Also, I never bothered to do the math, but if I'm not grossly mistaken a full-HD screen with 300 dpi resolution would have to be 7"-7.5" big.

I'd hit that.

Re:We knew this years ago ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690702)

But Steve Jobs didn't say "300 dpi looks good". He didn't say "300 dpi is the most important point on the resolution scale". He said "300 dpi is the limit of what the human eye can resolve".

And that is WRONG.

Re:We knew this years ago ... (5, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690752)

There's a huge difference between 300dpi in printing where your C,Y,M or K is either on or off, and 300dpi in systems where the C,Y and M or your R, G and B come in 256+ levels. (chemical photo printing and color displays respectively)

Print artwork is vastly inferior to a good photo print at the same resolution.

Re:We knew this years ago ... (2, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691282)

There's a huge difference between 300dpi in printing where your C,Y,M or K is either on or off, and 300dpi in systems where the C,Y and M or your R, G and B come in 256+ levels.

That's not actually how halftoning [wikipedia.org] works in print. You have various levels of ink coverage at each "pixel" location, what they do is vary the dot size from large enough to cover all of the paper at that location to no ink at all. You easily achieve 256 levels of intensity at each location when halftoning.

Re:We knew this years ago ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690770)

.. which is why "laser quality" is 300 dpi. We knew fax looks like shit because it's 200 dpi. It's why chemical photo prints are almost 300 dpi. Why print artwork is done at 300 dpi. The "300 dpi pleases the retina" thing is like 25 or more years old. 300 is the most important point on the resolution scale.

As someone that used to work for an agency:

300 DPI represents an reasonable economics tradeoff between accuracy and cost. You can have 1270 DPI (professional photo typesetters run that high), but how much do you want to pay for it? Those machines are $500k+. And yes, your eye can tell the difference between 300 DPI and 1270 DPI.

Artwork developed by print agencies is done at 300 DPI and no higher because of limitations on file transfer size and professional printer RIP speed. Trust me, if an 8" x 10" photo could be squashed into 3-5MB and rasterized in a short amount of time at 1270 DPI, there would be printing equipment and printers offering that as a service overnight.

Finally, standard 35mm film is around 10,000 DPI, dude.

Re:We knew this years ago ... (5, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691264)

Finally, standard 35mm film is around 10,000 DPI, dude.

 
35mm film is a storage format, not a display format. Yes, blowing that up to an 8x10 still gives you something like 1,000 dpi. But the 10,000 dpi figure is meaningless unless you like looking at 35mm wide prints at 12 inches away.

Truly a magical device. (3, Funny)

know1 (854868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690396)

This innovation sure beats that whole punch card technology.

Re:Truly a magical device. (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690606)

Punch card: the most important part is the part that's not there.

So it's not retina resolution...big deal (3, Informative)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690478)

So I played with one briefly yesterday. I thought, "oh, this is nice, it's about the same speed as my 3gs...this screen doesn't LOOK a whole lot better." Then I realized I really needed to clean my glasses. With my glasses off, and the screen 6 inches from my nose, it looks AWESOME. From any distance away, through my myopic eyes, dirty glasses, and the pollutants in the air, it's much better than it needs to be.

Look at pictures (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690550)

Try looking at pictures using the phone (online or otherwise). Even just comparing that default "raindrop" ios4.0 screen is like night and day, from two feet away...

And text looks way better.

What's the unit? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690612)

102m x 78m = 7956 m^2, which is just under 2 acres. That seems like hyperbole to me. Also, STFU. This topic was beaten to death within an hour of Jobs first using the word 'retinal.' At least put it on Idle where it belongs, if it belongs anywhere.

Um, yeah... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690614)

So you have a screen where 1px matches the minimum line width that you can see, and pick a suitably small font so that the legs of an 'm' are 1px apart (should be the smallest readable font). And it looks like shit because one of the spaces is slightly wider than the other so one leg is halfway between two rows of pixels and looks blurry or colored, or because the distance between the legs of an 'n' or heads of a 'u' isn't an exact multiple and those end up at a half-pixel and get blurred/colored.

Can I get something where the minimum distinguishable line width is 2px or 3px, so non-bitmap fonts can actually look decent at minimum should-be-readable size?

Re:Um, yeah... (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690768)

No scalable font will look perfectly clear at a size where the lines and spaces within the characters are close to the width of the pixels. To get really sharp text that tiny, you need a font bitmap designed specifically for that size and resolution (and which will look crappy at any other size). This is actually how the original black-and-white screen Mac worked--each font had a set of bitmaps that were hand-optimized for that particular size and screen resolution. But the resolution of the new iPhone is so high that such a tiny font would be too small to read, anyway, so why bother?

Re:Um, yeah... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690802)

You’re kidding, right? What you’re calling the “minimum should-be-readable size” would only be readable with a magnifying glass... that’s something like a 45 characters per inch, 2-point font.

point is what? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690632)

1. We had 310dpi mobile screens 2 years ago, so I'm not sure what's groundbreaking here. Hell, even some of the cheaper stuff went to 280dpi.

2. The argument was that you have to hold the 'phone pretty fucking far from your face for it to be impossible for your eyes to perceive pixelisation. This hasn't been disproven.

3. What's your point with the pixel shapes? If you're saying that we have better resolution left/right than up/down, then you do realise the phone is designed to rotate, yes?

4. Pixel size isn't everything. It needs to not bleed and not distort. And even Macrumors is posting bitches about the yellowing (what is it with Apple and yellowing?). Until then, it's not "retina" quality (if it even were) in anything but single issue marketing sense.

Re:point is what? (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691168)

With Apple's screen the phone must be held 17.6" from the face to achieve rough "foveal" resolution of 50 cycles per degree. To achieve the same resolution with a 280ppi screen it must be held approximately 20.5" away. So, the point, I guess, are those three inches. Many years ago publishers determined that most people read material about 18" from their face... which (combined with the 50cPd I cited) is where the publishing resolution standard of 300dpi comes from.

Re:point is what? (2, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691244)

I'm not quite sure why the distance people hold printed reading material should equal the distance at which people use their iPhones. For example, it's clear that I (and others around me) hold a 'phone closer than a newspaper, probably because:

(1) I'm interacting with it;
(2) Light's reflecting off it in a different way;
(3) Everything's squeezed up together, so we want the screen to take up more of our field of vision.

That's one huge display! (1)

nickovs (115935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690686)

"Rather they are rectangular and while the short axis is 78m, the long axis on the iPhone 4 pixel is somewhere in the neighborhood of 102m"

Wow, 78 meters but 102 meters? I guess Apple released this for gaming, so that the World Cup matches could be played on each pixel. That, or the quoted text is out by six orders of magnitude in each direction...

Re:That's one huge display! (3, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690826)

78 um and 102 um. They used the Greek letter Mu, which Slashdot helpfully strips out.

DPI is irrelevant, it's just TOO SMALL (0, Flamebait)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690706)

It's only a 4 inch display at 800x400. That wasn't big enough for even the lowliest laptops 25 years ago and it isn't enough now. It doesn't matter how you try to spin it, market it or come up with some magical new terms to flummox the gullible. It just isn't large enough.

With displays big is good, bigger is better and huge is best. There is no alternative.

Re:DPI is irrelevant, it's just TOO SMALL (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690924)

Yeah, I usually carry around a 70" plasma screen in my pocket in case I really want to surf the web.

Retinal scientist here... (2, Insightful)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690734)

I always thought the retinal display claim was kind of dumb. What PART of the retina (should have called it a fovea display)? How far do I need to hold it from my face? They can talk about retina displays when they are beaming low power scanning lasers through my pupil. Disclaimer: I'm a Self proclaimed fanboi, but I also triple boot and run my time-machine server on my ubuntu tower.

FaceTime feature is rather scary (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690742)

With both a hi-res camera and display, you show more of your face than perhaps you want. Every line, pimple and stray hair shows up, when I playing with FaceTime yesterday.

A minor aggravation is if you hold the phone normally you get a view of one's nostrils and chin. You have tilt your neck and/or lift the phone to get a good face view.

I think theres agood opportunity for a face-beautification app here. Maybe you could slightly de-focus the face like cameramen did for women in 1930s/1940s movies, to make them look better.

Re:FaceTime feature is rather scary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690986)

Just smear vaseline on the lens like cameramen did for women in 1930s/1940s movies, to make them look better.

FTFY.

Re:FaceTime feature is rather scary (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691002)

The face camera isn't high-res. I think it's something like 640x480, standard sort of webcam view. So, uh, I guess I'm saying you shouldn't blame the phone here, you'd look like that on regular old video.

(I tried to come up with a more polite way of putting that. Sorry!)

Slashdot?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690812)

Slashdot?! WTF?! Why'd you go and kill the link? I can't even RTFA, now. You're the worst kind of people.

"Well worth a read" (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690928)

I think that's debatable. Besides, I just can't see myself doing so. Get it? Get it? Thank you, I'm here all week. Remember to tip your waitress.

Slashdotted - Coral Cache Link (1)

shekel (27635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690962)

Short coral cache link: http://bit.ly/cQHH2y [bit.ly]

That's all and pretty and works pretty well... (2, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691012)

That's all and pretty and works pretty well... until you rotate the phone 90 degrees.

Oh, and totally sucks for developers to work with non-square pixels. Reminds me of 8-bit Atari, Graphics 11. 80×192 in landscape aspect ratio, pixels half a millimeter tall, half a centimeter wide.

Wow, Really? (2, Funny)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691030)

Leading scientists have proven that Sears Silvertone electrical appliances contain scant amounts of silver. Some contain no silver at all!!!

Of course Sears didn't have a former coke dealer go on stage and claim silver content.

Still, this used to be Slashdot. Why do we put up with all this macfag gibber?

What a pack of lies (1, Funny)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691070)

Using the term 'Retina Display' to describe a high-resolution screen might just be the most misleading thing I've heard come from Apple's PR department yet. A 'Retina Display' in the proper sense, actually projects an image onto the retina of the eye with no need for an actual display screen. This is not a Retina Display, and is clearly designed to stir up hype where none is deserved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display [wikipedia.org]

At this point, I don't think anything Apple can do will bring me to appreciate their products, especially if they continue to ride other companies' coattails into their next generation products

Yes, congratulations, you have a front-facing camera now. That's not going to make the iPads without one sell any better, and I'm sure having two cameras and a massively complex display is going to just trash your battery time, even if you did put in a slightly bigger battery.

Their 'multitasking' is hardly that. You can SWITCH between running programs, but that doesn't mean that you can actively use more than one at a time. The one in the background appears to be completely halted while using something else. If they're using the iPad processor it seems like it wouldn't have any more multitasking than that architecture allows, which is little to none. On my droid I can run SecondLife, Pandora, another radio station from anywhere, surf the web, and watch videos - all at the same time. All of these programs can take input or provide information at the same time. Nice try Apple.

In summary, get a Droid Incredible if you want a fun, open experience. Buy an iPhone 4G if you want the same old shit with a new name and box.

Dithering... (2, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691144)

I cannot RTFA being it is dead, but my question about all of this "retina-level" stuff is: are they factoring that the eye uses dithering and jittering to increase the spatial resolution?

Last I'd heard, the current theory is that by using micro-saccades, the eye can increase the spatial resolution over what your would naively predict based upon the angular spacing of the cones.

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