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Multi-layer LCD Displays

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the screw-alpha-channel-transparency dept.

Displays 100

Jmo writes "Puredepth has started to produce multi-layer LCD displays. They manipulate LCD technology so that one screen can be placed behind another for actual depth. This technology has not even come close to being fully taken advantage of but it is still very interesting and has many implications for the future. Their main product right now is a seventeen inch monitor, the MLD-3000. It is mainly targeted at medical and business fields but it could be used all over."

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FIST SPORT! (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261590)

Star Wars Star Christensen and boyfriend Disney Star Blumas are being investigated Since February 2004, Trevor Blumas and his friends have been under investigation by more than one law enforcement in Canada and the U.S. for charges of "child molestation." In February 2004, the Ontario Provincial Police began an investigation into acts of "child molestation" committed by Trevor when he was younger. When two minors have sexual relations with each other, the older boy can be held responsible and can be charged, under existing "child molestation" statutes. Blumas has been proven in the past to have had sexual relations with several minor boys when he himself was a minor, some of whom were younger than him, and his friends have also had sexual relations with several younger boys, some of whom were younger than them, including Trevor himself. Trevor Blumas: Trevor's Gay Secrets! - http://www.universalway.org/Trevor/trevorblumas4.h tml Disney Star Blumas is Gay, was Molested, and is Molester - http://www.geocities.com/staylefish2005/#Blumas Additionally, besides the above acts, evidence exists that when Blumas was an adult himself, he and his long-time boyfriend and lover Hayden Christensen were involved in a tryst with a minor boy, pop star Aaron Carter, when Carter was 15 years old. Did Trevor Blumas "Date" Aaron Carter? Is Aaron Carter Gay? - http://www.universalway.org/Trevor/aaroncarter.htm l So Trevor's long-time boyfriend and lover Hayden Christensen is also implicated in the some of the above acts of child molestation, and because of this, if either Hayden or Trevor ever admit that they are gay, they essentially admit to many of the above charges being true, and may be prosecuted for those acts. However, recent events have made it clear to the public that both Hayden and Trevor are gay, and have been long-time boyfriends and lovers: http://pagesixsixsix.com/modules/news/article.php? storyid=313&keywords=Hayde n+Christensen&PHPSESSID=82cfa9e9301e4edc6d214ce97b 2d78c1 http://www.livejournal.com/community/ohnotheydidnt /1583717.html http://www.livejournal.com/community/ohnotheydidnt /1535847.html Christensen was also an adult at the time, and at the time of the initial investigation, the charges were found to have merit, however, none of the boys who were molested chose to come forth and give testimony, most being friends of Trevor as they were, and thus, there was no "concrete evidence" that could be used in prosecution of Trevor. That investigation continues to this very day. Furthermore, in January 2005, additional charges were levied against Trevor and some of his friends, including an older friend who is a middle age man, those also being for child molestation and also for felony corruption of minors by the older man and felony drug trafficking by Trevor and his friends and the older man also. At that time, an investigation was initiated by the Drugs & Vice Department of the London Ontario Police Department, such investigation which also continues to this very day. Both investigations have through necessity extended into the venues in which the two young men have resided in the recent past, and with information coming from the West Hollywood California Police Department about Hayden and Trevor both being gay, investigators now know for sure that both young men are guilty of all charges of child molestation filed against them, however, none of the boys involved are willing to provide testimony which would lead to the prosecution of those who have been accused. All of this is why right now, both Hayden and Trevor are involved in acts that are designed to make both of them appear not to be gay, acts which themselves are actually part of a continuing conspiracy to cover up the above acts of child molestation, and which has implicated all involved in that conspiracy. Christensen and Blumas are both "child molesters" and have been investigated for such charges, and such investigations continue to this very day, and certain people are trying to cover up for both Hayden and Trevor's "child molestation" activities.

A day in the life of RMS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261608)

8am - Wakes up outside the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge as another bum shits on him. Thinks this sucks and that he would like an apartment, but can't find a landlord with an apartment that is free as in speech and beer. Falls back asleep.

9am - Wakes up again.

9:15am - Goes to men's room at MIT to wash shit off. Gives himself sponge bath. Shit comes off (somewhat), but he really isn't clean since he refuses to take a shower.

9:45am - Decides to shave 2 inches off beard after someone in MIT restroom mistakes him for Osama Bin Laden.

10am - Goes to McDonalds for breakfast. Gets into arguement with workers behind counter after they refuse to give him a free as in speech and beer breakfast. Also gets into arguement with the manager about why McDonalds should be called GNU/McDonalds due to the fact that he eats there.

11:30am - After being thrown out of McDonalds since the staff doesn't want a DGH deterring lunch rush, RMS goes to the McDonalds' dumpster to find food. Eats a "GNU/Quarter Pounder" and "GNU/fries" covered with "GNU/mold". He consideres the food better since it is free as in speech and beer.

12:30am - Goes back to MIT to recruit MIT students into writing free software. RMS is unable to enter anyone's office since everyone has placed spider plants in their offices. (He has a phobia a spider plants.)

1pm - RMS protests GWB (George W. Bush) for not being GNU/GWB and believing in copyrights. Wanders out of Cambridge and into Waltham. Police find RMS and arrest him for violating the ordinance that says he is not allowed to enter Waltham. (All towns surrounding Cambridge have this ordinace.) Police beat him and deport him back to Cambridge.

3pm - Goes back to MIT and creates a plan for dealing with overpopulation by killing everyone who uses non-free software. Writes code into next version of emacs to implement that feature

5pm - Tries to read email. RMS finds out he is dangerously over quota due to an email from Doctress Neutopia. This email is 65 megabytes of nothing but ASCII text. It is similar to an email he gets everyday since 1995 when he and Docress Neutopia had a brief fling. The email says that she would like to have a relationship with him, but he needs to accept her lovoution, stop his polygamous goat fucking and clean off the hair, dirt, food, and feces off his keyboard. RMS responds with a 9 megabyte email (of nothing but text) explaining that he could only consider getting into a relationship with her if she changed her name to GNU/Doctress Neutopia.

5:30pm - Reads rest of his email. His email is bombarded with trolls and goatse. RMS is turned on by the goatse and beats off to it.

6pm - Still beating off to goatse

7pm - Still beating off to goatse

8pm - Still beating off to goatse

9pm - Breaks into MIT vending machine to have a free as in speech and beer snack.

10pm - Breaks into a liquor store for free as in speech and free as in beer beer. Gets drunk.

10:15pm - Walks around drunk yelling, "Use free software!!!!", "It's GNU/Linux you capitalist pigs!!!!" and "I am a goat fucker!!!!".

11:45pm - Collapses in front of the Center for Marxist Education. Goes to sleep.

Re:A day in the life of RMS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261639)

Hi Mr Gates!

Re:A day in the life of RMS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261657)

lol

Re:A day in the life of RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262577)

You MUST be Bill Gates.

The price (2, Insightful)

puiahappy (855662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261609)

I think is a very god piece of hardware but at that price ($1,799.00), i think that a few years will have to pass until we`ll start using it at home.

Re:The price (2, Interesting)

SimonShine (795915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261689)

It appears like really a really cool thing to have, but does any near future price compare to the $30 a KVM [webopedia.com] costs, just so that you can see two windows at the same time? You can even build KVMs yourself.

Re:The price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261973)

I think is a very god piece of hardware

Its nice, but to me its not that good as to consider it god...

Re:The price (1)

fgl (792403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12267598)

But once you see boobies so real, they'll knock your socks off?

am i first ?~? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261611)

am i first ?>!

Finally! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261612)

I've been wanting to purchase an LCD, but I've been waiting for one to be as big and bulky as a CRT.

Re:Finally! (2, Informative)

sagekoala06 (786349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261669)

Their website states that it is only 3.1" deep excluding the base.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262659)

Their website states that it is only 3.1" deep excluding the base.

Quite similar to your penis in that respect, then...

Re:Finally! (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262678)

Which makes this interesting - would it be too far a step to propose that this design be used to allow LCDs to natively support a number of different resolutions? Might make them more acceptable if the last remaining serious flaw with LCDs was, if not fixed, made better.

Re:Finally! (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263002)

Which makes this interesting - would it be too far a step to propose that this design be used to allow LCDs to natively support a number of different resolutions?

Absolutely. That would be just as smart as bolting a compact-car onto the roof of your SUV so you can enjoy the benefits of high fuel mileage and tremendous storage space.

Well, no, that was unfair. It would be like gluing a 22 and 45 caliber rifle together, so you always have the right firepower for large and small game.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12264484)

"Well, no, that was unfair. It would be like gluing a 22 and 45 caliber rifle together, so you always have the right firepower for large and small game"
A 22 cal above a 410 gauge has been around as a bush survival gun for a long time. To the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as a 45 cal rifle although I may be mistaken

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12267859)

Minna_Kirai = new SlashdotLuser;
Minna_Kirai.pwn();

Re:Finally! (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264101)

last remaining serious flaw with LCDs so the contrast ratio changes based upon angle and the lack of a possibility to calibrate the colors due to this is not seen as a flaw?

Hmm... (4, Funny)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261619)

"It could be used all over."

Like pr0n right?

Come on, some one was going to say it.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261852)

and you beat me to it. u big pr0n monkey u!

Re:Hmm... (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264207)

If you overlay two pr0n images on just one woman each would the resultant display on this qualify as girl-on-girl??

3D (4, Insightful)

obender (546976) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261659)

Two layers is not deep enough for 3D, you would need hundres of layers. But I doubt the technology described in TFA even attempts this.

Well, I'm sure this will be discussed in much more detail on Monday when the dupe will be posted.

Re:3D (2, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261781)

Two layers is not deep enough for 3D, you would need hundres of layers. But I doubt the technology described in TFA even attempts this.

You're mistaken. With two eyes, two layers is all you need.

Re:3D (2, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261819)

Your right, but these 2 layers are directly on top of each other.

They are just onion skin layers, and need to be a volumetric cube to be a true 3d display (Yes, your 1 display per eye is right, but for a group of people looking its impractical)

I am hoping for a rotating drum with spokes made of LEDs to give a true volume area that would be viewable by all, but thats about as likely as a flying car, so I wont hold my breath.

Re:3D (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261851)

If you don't mind using polarized glasses- one eye vertical, one eye horizontal, then you only need two.

Have a screen at the bottom of the display, and one at the back of the display and a half-way mirror/beam splitter reflecting the bottom screen to your eyes.

e.g.

| / -->eyes
|/__

Re:3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262067)

Oh, come on. If there's anything that I've learned from the other two times this has been posted here, it's that you don't need polarized glasses; each of your eyes catches light emitted from a different-angled screen normally.

Re:3D (3, Interesting)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262071)

If you don't mind using polarized glasses- one eye vertical, one eye horizontal, then you only need two.

You don't need glasses. I'm not sure about the actual LCD used in this thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's using the same technology Sharp uses in their laptop. I've seen the Sharp techology demoed and as someone who basically doesn't know anything about all of this, I was totally astounded.

Luckily, Sharp conveniently explains how it works [sharp-world.com] -- they use something called a "parallax barrier", which, as the name implies, basically makes it so you see one screen from one eye and the other from the other. Obviously this works best if you're immediately in front of the screen, but from the demo I saw, it worked from a wider angle than I would have thought.

Or you can read all of the past slashdot stories about it [slashdot.org] ....

Re:3D (1)

RichardX (457979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262904)

No, this is quite different to Sharp's approach.
Sharp's tech has one screen split into two halfs. One half is aimed at your left eye, the other is aimed at your right. This allows you a full range of depth by altering the horizontal displacement between corresponding pixels on the left eye/right eye images.
Basically this tech is quite similar to how anaglyphs or magic eye images work.

The tech in TFA on the other hand has two screen where one is literally, physically behind the other. The depth is actually there, like two cardboard planes one in front of the other.
The downside of this is you only ever have two flat planes at fixed depths - you cannot achieve a full range of depth between the two.

Re:3D (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261910)

Your right, but these 2 layers are directly on top of each other.

I don't think that's actually the case. Note the complaint about the "stereoscopic" blur. I think that the monitor *has* a mode where it does basically what you're saying so that it can be used in a less useful way with non-adapted applications -- input from a secondary video input ispresented on a plane apparently behind the primary one.

This particular review is quite short and light on details, and it's *possible* that this is all this particular monitor can do, but similar technology using only two layers exists and *does* work very well, with a field of view big enough for multiple people (although probably not for a big presentation).

Re:3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262137)

With two eyes, two layers is all you need.

I'm a spider, you insensitive CLOD!

Re:3D (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264799)

"Two layers is not deep enough for 3D, you would need hundres of layers. But I doubt the technology described in TFA even attempts this."

I saw a demo of this back at Siggraph 2001. 3D? Nah. But having the foreground layer and the BG layer seperated was still a much nicer effect than the cross-eyed approach to 3D that has been done before.

Also, from a compuer using point of view, it was a little better, too. You could It showed the foreground window on the front plane and everything else in the back. Granted, this isn't worth the expense, but it was definitely a pleasant "this is your window focus" effect.

These monitors are actually pretty cool.

Not for ord. users but GIS guys maybe (3, Insightful)

Flywheels of Fire (836557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261660)

It's not really good for 3D stuff. So that only means you can use it for stacked virtual desktops. But as TFA says, stacking transparent desktops on each other is quite annoying. Let virtual desktops be virtual.

However, I do see a use in this for GIS [mithuro.com] applications. You can redefine the term overlay with this.

Re:Not for ord. users but GIS guys maybe (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261766)

Actually, it *is* really good for "3D stuff". I'm not sure where you get the idea that it wouldn't be. At Linux World Boston, Emperor Linux was demoing a Sharp laptop with similar technology [emperorlinux.com] . They had it running PyMoL [sourceforge.net] in 3D mode, and it was very impressive.

Re:Not for ord. users but GIS guys maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261780)

"However, I do see a use in this for GIS [mithuro.com] applications. You can redefine the term overlay with this. "

I worked at a company that had one of these monitors that was originally purchased for GIS applications, but that I was using for general desktop work. It was TERRIBLE!

The back screen seemed to be at a lower resolution or something, and anything you dragged to it looked funky.

Whenever you were in a situation where the back screen was off (such as when booting) there was no backlight for the front screen and you couldn't see anything.

The same was true whenever I tried to put up a background image that wasn't almost completely white.

I'm a bit curious (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261675)

as too all this research and product development into 3D displays. It didnt work in the cinema and personally I cant think of a compelling mainstream requirement for 3D on the desktop.

Re:I'm a bit curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262858)

You can't think of anything because you're a quitter. There are some people out there though that will keep trying until they get it right, then everyone gets to enjoy the results.

Re:I'm a bit curious (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264869)

" It didnt work in the cinema..."

Well, yeah, nobody quite got the implementation right. However, I can tell you that Disneyland still has the Muppet 3D adventure, Universal Studios still was Terminator and Shrek 3D, and Las Vegas has the Borg Experience '4D'. All big attractions. (well, the Muppet 3D one USED to be a big attraction, heh.)

" It didnt work in the cinema and personally I cant think of a compelling mainstream requirement for 3D on the desktop."

Err. If you're saying we can live with out it, I more or less agree. However, nearly every game is 3D. Stereo vision, if it can be accomplished comfortably, would be quite pleasant.

Now this isn't so mainstream, but as a 3D artist, I'd love to have it while making models. Right now, I do a lot of little rotations to get an idea of how it's working out. A GOOD stereo display (which I have difficulty imagining is all that attainable...) would definitely assist in the job.
Heck, even the standard desktop UI would benefit from it. I actually saw a demo of a layered LCD a few years ago that was running Windows. The foreground layer had the window in focus and the BG layer had everything else. It was actually quite a pleasant visual cue.

Is the need or desire there? I'd have to say yes. Is it some sort of holy grail that'll make computing or video game life much better like going from monochrome to color did? Right now, I'd have to say no. My mind could be changed if the right technology came along, but for right now I remain unconvinced. I think the next big revolution will come if somebody figures out a way to project volumetric holograms.

Re:I'm a bit curious (1)

instarx (615765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12267949)

as too all this research and product development into 3D displays. It didnt work in the cinema and personally I cant think of a compelling mainstream requirement for 3D on the desktop.

"There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Before this gets modded Troll, the point is that the same thing was said about the automobile, the airplane, and the Popiel Pocket Fisherman. I'm not saying that this technology is on par with those, but frankly, who knows? If you had given some specific reasons the technology would not be worthwhile other than just "I can't think of anything", your post would have been a lot more valuable.

You only get two layers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261713)

If you have something that can be separated into near field and far field, the images could be very realistic. I have trouble imagining how this would work with a medical image. Remember the anatomy drawings with a series of plastic overlays.

The stuff I like the best is some mechanical drawings with cutaway views. A good illustrator can totally convey a 3-d structure. I guess what I am saying is that the answer may be a little more cleverness with conventional 2-d displays. The use of user-controlled transparency might do a better job of conveying the information.

Is anyone still working on holographic displays?

pointless (3, Insightful)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261732)

Wasting two full LCD displays on getting two blurry discrete depths is not a good use of hardware. If you expend the same amount of effort on a true 3D display, you can do the same thing, and you can actually look at arbitrary 3D objects/scenes.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12264020)

I saw a demo of this at the FOSE show this month and actually the demonstration was quite good.

I can see a use for this in graphics and 3d applications.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12265767)

Don't knock it till you've seen it.

I have physically seen one of these displays in action. What you're mostly missing, is that the eyes naturally focus on one of the two layers, and the other layer gets kind of automatically filtered out by your visual processing.

The beast is very very impressive - especially for anybody running out screen real estate for the many windows they're trying to keep track of simultaneously.

banaari,
Auckland, NZ

Zounds! (5, Insightful)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261741)

From TFA

The practical applications that Puredepth advertises for its MLD displays are vast and far-reaching. In any application that would benefit from greater information density (such as backgrounds with changing overlays, work areas with tool palettes, etc.), the MLD adds true depth to what would usually be a simulated effect. The effect is truly amazing, especially when compared with a standard 2D display.

As you can see, this device is a GREAT benefit to the vast and far-reaching applications that would benefit from it. We could name them, but we'll settle for describing them abstractly. Suppose you have an application where you need to stack crap on top of other crap so that you can't read any of it. Well, this device is exactly what you need!

Seriously, take a look at the screenshot of this thing running:

Stacking crap so you can't read it [xyzcomputing.com]

In that pic, you can read everything, but it is clear that if you use your computer for things like text, this would be a nearly unusable monitor.

I love the article's conclusion:

Also, the technology, once refined, could be applied to displays with many layers, allowing for even more complex three-dimensional diagrams, such as skyscraper floor-plans, or "data clouds" with more than merely two levels within the depth hierarchy.[Poster's note: HOLY CRAP A 3D DISPLAY? THAT WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD IF it wasn't 25 years old.] Yet another possibility would be to juxtapose two or more different display formats in the same manner. Using a combination of standard LCD displays with super-bright OLED displays might lead to some interesting effects, making the distinguishing factors between layers consist of more factors than merely depth.

As innovators, I tip my hat to Puredepth, and I truly hope to see more products from them in the future.

Re:Zounds! (3, Insightful)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261807)

In that pic, you can read everything, but it is clear that if you use your computer for things like text, this would be a nearly unusable monitor.

While I won't comment on the practical applications of this monitor, your comment shows a lack of understanding about photography. Since the camera taking the picture can only take one in 2 dimensions, the true dimensiality of the monitor cannot be grasped through a photo.

I would look at this monitor in person before making any cracks about its usability.

Re:Zounds! (0, Flamebait)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262362)

While I won't comment on the practical applications of this monitor, your comment shows a lack of understanding about photography. Since the camera taking the picture can only take one in 2 dimensions, the true dimensiality of the monitor cannot be grasped through a photo.

Wait, so a camera doesn't steal my soul? No seriously, I'd love to hear your explanation of how "the true dimensiality of the monitor" actually works. Here's what I suggest:
Take two transparencies, such as for an overhead projector.
Fill both of the transparencies with a bunch of text.
Put one transparancy on top of the other. Vary the distance between the two from 0-10 cm.
Eat some paint chips and explain how this is an improvement over looking at the transparencies one at a time.

QED. Cameras DO STEAL YOUR SOUL. Nice try, smarty, but I think it is YOU who shows a lack of understanding about photography.

Re:Zounds! (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262936)

Eat some paint chips and explain how this is an improvement over looking at the transparencies one at a time.

You left out a critical point- the transparencies have to be of some spatially correlated data, such as an x-ray and radar imagining of the same object. In that case, the utility is obvious.

I am absolutely not saying that this gizmo is worth paying twice was a pair of normal LCDs would cost, but it does produce some benefit. Part of the reason it will never produce more benefit is because GUI toolkits won't be optimized for that type of display.

Re:Zounds! (1)

th77 (515478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263517)

Okay then... I have used it, or one essentially identical to it; we informally evaluated it at work for a peer group searching for potential applications.

It was kind of neat when used "properly", that is when you used the demo custom version of PowerPoint they provided which showed different related content on each layer. You pretty much had to be sitting right in front of it for it to look good, though. Both layers were a bit washed out / hard to focus on, and reading was not as easy as on a traditional display.

In the end, we struggled to come up with many scenarios where this type of display would have a strong advantage over virtual layering of data/content. My own conclusion: it's good that someone is making products like this, pushing the boundaries a bit, but I won't be recommending it any time soon. (Of course, if some "killer app" comes along my tune could change.)

You are, in fact, missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261837)

Because the LCDs are layered, there is a certain amount of parallax. You can't see it in the shots, of course.

This means that if you have a picture of an x-ray on the bottom layer and you put the labels for that x-ray on the upper layer, the labels will appear to float over the x-ray. This a a Good Thing.

There are countless situations in which putting a label over a picture obscures part of the data, making it hard to read. Here, because of parallax between your eyes, at least one eye will usually see the pixels under a label. If that weren't enough you could move your head side to side.

Obviously it would be stupid to put text over text. That isn't the intended use.

I'd really like such a monitor for working in Photoshop. The marching ant line around a selection can make it really hard to see whether the selection is lined up. Either putting the selection line on a second LCD layer or actually lifting the current selection up onto that layer would be very useful.

But you're just going to have to imagine the effect until you see it... it'll never show up in a photograph of the unit.

Re:You are, in fact, missing the point (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262963)

AC: I'd really like such a monitor for working in Photoshop. The marching ant line around a selection can make it really hard to see whether the selection is lined up. Either putting the selection line on a second LCD layer or actually lifting the current selection up onto that layer would be very useful.

Won't work in that instance. The nontrivial distance between the two screens means you cannot tell exactly how the border lines up. Shifting 4 cm in your chair will cause 20+ pixels of disalignment between the screens.

The applications where I've seen this provide a genuine benefit was in CAD / 3-d modeling, where the rendered preview can be sitting behind the 3 wireframe panes, and in RTS games (or anything else with a top-down view looking at units, which includes ATC and similar real-life systems)

Re:Zounds! (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262908)

In that pic, you can read everything, but it is clear that if you use your computer for things like text, this would be a nearly unusable monitor.

Wrong. If you actually sit in front of the monitor, you can see the rear images fairly easily, particularly if you are a dual-eyed human. By subtlely adjusting the convergence angle of your binocular vision, you can instantly shift focus on either the front or rear screen.

The images on the front screen are thin enough (text and gui elements) so that they can block one of your eyes from seeing parts of the rear screen. The other eye can see it, and that's enough for the brain.

How do I know this? Because I used this monitors four years ago when they first came out- this article is absolutely not news to anyone interested in this stuff. Slashdot timeliness wins again.

Re:Zounds! (1)

naddington (852722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263121)

He's intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking.

Graphics Card vs. Monitor - why this? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264167)

It sounds like they've built a cool piece of hardware, but why not just handle the overlays and blending functions in a graphics card which is perfectly good at it, instead of making it happen in a harder-to-manufacture overpriced monitor?

I can see that there might be occasional military applications where it actually makes sense, because you really really really don't want the different data streams on the same computer (e.g. the CNN feed on the background and the crosshairs for the satellite laser aiming system in the foreground :-) and need more control than a multi-level-secure operating system can really provide. And there might be occasional gamer applications where nobody makes a video card hefty enough to blend the two images while running full-blast computation on both sets of image processing. But that's all weird minor niche stuff.

I really don't get it. It doesn't sound like the screen depth is enough to let your eyes see really different things, unlike some of the parallax monitor stuff that's been in the news.

why not OLED? (1)

samxiao (757407) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261743)

i heard it has cheaper production cost and better quality.

Alternative Lenticular LCD (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261832)

by Philips [philips.com] uses more conventional technology. You just interleave the pixels of the alternate views.

Re:Alternative Lenticular LCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12264305)

That's how the Sharp 3D display works too

Hmm (0, Troll)

Bootle (816136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261870)

This strikes me, at first glance admittedly, as the stupidest fucking thing I have *ever* heard of...

One is left with all the problems of having dual-monitors and none of the benefits.

what a great idea (4, Funny)

Hrrrg (565259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261877)

Hmm, I think I will file this story under:

"Sounds Cool"
subfolder "Probably Useless"
subfolder "What Moron Thought We Needed This?"

Thanks!

Re:what a great idea (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261974)

If you don't mind, I'd like to change your folder structure a little:

"Sounds Cool"
subfolder "Probably Useless"
subfolder "The guy who created this has made a few dollars for himself at the expense of some morons who buy anything new and shiny without really thinking about a real use for said shiny object"

wbs.

Re:what a great idea (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262682)

subfolder "The guy who created this has made a few dollars for himself at the expense of some morons who buy anything new and shiny without really thinking about a real use for said shiny object"

Hmm. Expect to see it on sale at ThinkGeek sometime soon, then.

Yet another insigtful article from XYZ computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261883)

Doesn't anyone remember the other terribly insightful article [slashdot.org] depicting the complexities of hooking up two monitors to, of all things... a Windows XP box. Or the Goodbye to Windows letter. What's the point of making such a fuss about leaving Windows, and then still be using it more than 6 months down the line. I don't see a single Linux or OS X screenshot anywhere on the site. Why do the letter then?

Yes, this is another article from none other than the self-promoting twit, Sal Cangeloso. At least he's taken off that ridiculous About page from his site, where he christened himself as the CEO of XYZ Computing. It's a fucking blog page for fucks sake.

I wouldn't be surprised if he submitted this article himself. At least he did a better job disguising his identity this time round.

eye focus (2, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261886)

this could be interesting if the depth between the 2 displays was enough so you could "switch" between them by refocussing your eyes, like wathing through a fence.

Re:eye focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262017)

I think that's the idea.

Re:eye focus (1)

bleater (833671) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264436)

I have used the display, and that is exactly what you can do. They can build them to any real depth.. the one I have used is set at about 25mm depth (about an inch for those of you still stuck in imperial units) but they can be manufactured up to 150mm or more. Some confusion reigns here about how these actually work too.. they do NOT use autostereoscopic principles (Sharp's and Philip's 3D displays do). You get just TWO DISCRETE depths. They are NOT really useful for content with a continuously variable z dimension. But they are very useful for overlaying data on top of a conventional 2D display - a bit like a heads up display. The displays aren't perfect - they are a bit thicker than conventional LCD's, generate a bit more heat, and the rear display is the tiniest bit fuzzy because it is being viewed through another LCD. Apart from those limitations, they're very cool displays.

not quie ready for general use (4, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261899)

The poster of the article says "It is mainly targeted at medical and business fields but it could be used all over"

However the article says: "Several quirks related to the product's design make it somewhat impractical for generalized use."

Slashdot has reached a new level of article posting. Now the poster doesn't have to RTFA anymore.

Yet another company makes a monitor... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12261921)

Why is it news when another company jumps on the 3D using parallax bandwagon?

Sharp [sharpsystems.com] has done it, Toshiba [japancorp.net] has done it. All three are using the same layered LCD technology. Slashdot has covered each one now

BB

Re:Yet another company makes a monitor... (1)

rain3d (877073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12274832)

This is not an auto-sterioscopic monitor fool! It is a totally unique way of presenting information which solves all of the problems associated with sterioscopic displays (sweet spots, low resolution, seasickness. Text is a relatively weak affordance for MLD's. A major strengh is in an application like kiosk, gaming or mapping when graphics can be displayed in a whole new way. This is where MLD will win in the first instance. Just as a side note one layer can be switched off so you can declutter any text effect.

foveon like technology? (1)

bundaegi (705619) | more than 9 years ago | (#12261988)

Okay, this is a longshot, but could something like the foveon sensor [foveon.com] be applied to LCDs? How long before we get real square pixels from RGB or RGBE [dpreview.com] stacked LCDs?

Most of these assumptions are too direct (4, Insightful)

marcsiry (38594) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262010)

Seems like most of the naysayers are just assuming you'd use this screen to simply overleave two 2D displays.

This is linear thinking- sort of like assuming that the powerful GPUs in video cards would only ever be used to render chrome spheres floating over checkerboard floors. Instead, different, more clever uses (like Quartz and Core Image) have emerged for that seemingly extravagant and surplus capability.

Similarly, I fell like somthing like this will be used to add an intangible quality to the dry 2d display- 'life' or 'vibrance.'

Imagine two displays that render the exact same image, except in the areas where it's tracking your eyes or mouse, the images are more in phase while the rest of the screen goes out of phase.

It could literally help focus your attention on the important info, where today's screens are limited to color, 'boldness' and opacity.

I think we won't see the real usefluness of this until it's had time for creative people to tinker with working examples of it, which is the case for most technology, really.

Re:Most of these assumptions are too direct (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262193)

I don't see how having layered LCD would help achieve any of those effects any better than just writing a software driver to do the layering, which would be a lot easier to implement and u'd have a lot more control over the dynamics of--you could control the interaction between between the layers much better instead of being limited by hardware technology.

Re:Most of these assumptions are too direct (2, Insightful)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262389)

Imagine two displays that render the exact same image, except in the areas where it's tracking your eyes or mouse, the images are more in phase while the rest of the screen goes out of phase.

Ok, and now let's imagine paying for 1 display and an API function that does a blur effect on areas that are not near the mouse. Your method requires a $1800 display. My method requires an API function and existing graphics hardware.

I think we won't see the real usefluness of this until it's had time for creative people to tinker with working examples of it, which is the case for most technology, really.

Ok, fair enough. This is just like the way the world changed when someone put TWO CD-ROM drives in ONE computer, except you had two independent, functional, useful CD-ROM drives. This looks like an $1800 way to have almost 1 useful display.

Re:Most of these assumptions are too direct (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262633)

My post is going to assume that people like the 3D potential of the display, as many other posters have already pointed out how software and current hardware can already do alpha blending for overlay.
Here is another analogy:

Two-layer LCD display would be able to give 3D in much the same way that the classic parallax shooters projected into 2D in the early nineties. Few 2D layers. Those by the way were pathetic with only two layers, and the more layers, the cooler it seemed.

However, something that does what modern 3D games do but in real life would actually be interesting. Some places are working on it (actually, with high-speed shutter glasses and syncronized high refresh display, it is already done today.

could be more easily accomplished with software (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262033)

from reading the potential applications for a layered LCD, it seems to me that just writing a display driver which supports two desktops and make white pixels in the foreground transparent would be much more effective.

i think the only advantage you'd get from having layered LCD is a realistic sense of depth which doesn't seem to have many practical uses in the first place, and could probably be simulated with some creative display rendering techniques(like darken/blur the background desktop slightly).

plus, with a software driver that accomplished practically the same thing you'd:
-save a ton of money
-be able to choose which color pixils you want to be transparent
-make semi-opaque layers or make different shades of translucency
-implement as many layered desktops as you want

Liquid Crystal Display Display (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12262054)

Now I just need to go to the ATM Machine to get cash to buy one. I'd like one to use with my MIDI Interface, but I hope I have enough RAM Memory in my CPU Unit.

Re:Liquid Crystal Display Display (1)

giant_toaster (850764) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262446)

Remember to put in your personal PIN number...

Re:Liquid Crystal Display Display (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262764)

So I'd be putting in my personal personal identification number number?

Why use hardware? What is wrong with software? (1)

cybergibbons (554352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262189)

I don't see what you gain here using a hardware implementation of this. Surely it is possible to otherwise do this entirely in software (which would certainly be more elegant) or even by blending two DVI signals?

Like this, you end up with one display being a little fuzzy, and it just looks confusing to me.

The article really doesn't sell it either - "It's good cos you can have toolbars and pallettes" - done in software - "The box looks cool" - great, I'd expect it to look good if I paid that much.

Someone explain why? What can it be used for?

Well, why use two eyes when one will do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12263319)

When there is actual depth in the display, as done here, your brain immediately and automatically recognizes this and perceives the distinction between front and rear images. I suspect this is a much more striking effect than merely alpha-blending overlapping windows and/or making the 'deeper' windows blurry. Software -cannot- replicate what this product does.

That said, I'm as baffled as anyone about the true practical uses for this, other than perhaps a more eye-catching display in a store window.

Use it w/ MilkDrop (1)

lighting (745606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262336)

Well, it would certanly be great for audio visualizations... Run it w/ two computers, each one running milkdrop on linein data... That'd be interesting to say the least. /me wants one of these monitors now.

~n

I've seen these (1)

alex_ware (783764) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262556)

but the damned store only had one monitor plugged in

Re:I've seen these (1)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263879)

Yes, a dual head graphics card is needed, as there are two sets of ports on the back. The report reflects the fact that it is complicated to set up, and I for one would like to see one up and running before spending that kind of money.

Re:I've seen these (1)

alex_ware (783764) | more than 9 years ago | (#12264225)

they had tons of spare pcs tho

Just remember.... (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12262715)

it's not considered "defective" unless there are 8 dead pixels on each layer.

Old technology? (1)

rbrome (175029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263115)

I've seen layered LCDs before. They have them installed at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. On the lower level, they have a really cool interactive exhibit where you can browse their 3D database of famous spaceships from the history of sci-fi. It definitely uses some kind of multi-layered display (I assume LCD.) It looks extremely cool and sci-fi-ish, but like everyone else, I'm not sure what the real practical applications would be other than sci-fi...

For people who don't like been advertised to... (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263293)

To avoid unnecessary banners and wasting bandwidth, click on page 4 at the bottom of the page. Page 4 has the screenshots of the monitor in action.

(Unless you want to see the other pics, and in that case knock yourself out)

Wake me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12263433)

.. when they're using full colour stacked OLEDs (no i didnt rtfa)

During an industrial-design project at university a few years back we figured this would be nice gadgety technology for a smartphone. Good to see its getting development now.

Make your own... for ten bucks (1)

marciot (598356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263805)

Just buy an old-school LCD panel for overhead projectors [ebay.com] and duct tape it to the front of your CRT...

I'm actually pretty disappointed that those LCD panels went the way of the dodo bird. They were pretty cool, and I dare say more convenient than integrated projectors (since with the old panels you could use dual-use the projector for.... overheads!)

-- Marcio

Dead pixels (1)

Proc6 (518858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12263935)

Great, now I can be even more dissapointed when my new layered LCD has dead pixels in all 3 dimensions.

White was a bad choice (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266231)

If they could have picked any colour for the see-through colour, it should have been something other than white. See the screenshot they provide which shows just how bad it is when a web browser with Google on it is in front of another window.

Surely some colour like RGB(4,0,4) would be fairly uncommon, and a little more safe. Colours like that tend to be used for video overlays already, so they should work fine.

Re:White was a bad choice (1)

Jm_aus (869662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266564)

LCD pixels are black (opaque) when "on" and colored (clear showing filtered white backlight) when "off" so the transparent color on the front panel can't be anything other than white.

The front LCD can't do the partial transparency effect you might be familiar with from Quartz because it can't add light to what is being transmitted through the back LCD, it can only darken the image further.

This seems like an unbelievably lame device to me, in that the layering is going to look worse and be more limited than what can be achieved in software with a single LCD panel.

Re:White was a bad choice (1)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12267302)

Actually, if they rotate one of the two polarization films by 90 degrees, on become transparent while off become opaque.

I've been trying to design a new type of LCD for a little while now, so I've had to do a bit of research.

Technically speaking, as I understand it, you can also do translucent by sending an analog voltage level to the pixel, but this probably won't work on a TFT type display as it actually uses a transistor for each pixel.

White is currently the *only* choice (1)

BashDot (756483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266598)

LCDs are designed to filter out the light coming through them. Black (RGB 0,0,0) would block all light, red (RGB 255,0,0) would block all but red, and of course white (RGB 255,255,255) lets everything through. You can't assign RGB (4,0,4) as transparent as the LCD surface would only let through ~1.6% of red and blue light, hardly transparent.

I personally think this display is a cheap hack, not worth $1,799. You could buy two LCD displays, disassemble them and stack them if you're savvy enough. I've never tried it, but it obviously can be done. The hard part would be taking off the panel backing without destroying the display.

Hardware isn't the only solution (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12268587)

You could map white to RGB(255,255,254), and then map some other colour like RGB(4,0,4) to white.

I'm not entirely certain why this would be so hard to do, either, although two of you seem to think it is.

Re:Hardware isn't the only solution (1)

BashDot (756483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12280872)

I'm not too sure how this would solve the problem. Yes, white would no longer be the transparent color in software, but if you were to go to a page like google, you'd have black text on a nearly black background. Hardly useable.

Learn your RGB. (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12287086)

No, RGB(255,255,254) is actually somewhere near white. So it would be black next on a nearly white background.

Already been done (1)

vuud (678736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266601)


About four or five years ago we did some development for a company from New Zealand called DeepVideo. They had a screen that was two LCD displays with one in front of the other.

Basically it was connected to by a dual head video card, and you basically had is spanned. The first half was on the front screen, the second was on the back.

LOL, I just looked up deepvideo and its the same guys. I guess its a re-release or something.

My experience with the original displays were that they we neat, but not terribly useful. Hopefully over the last few years they got it nice and crisp.

But new, nope they've been doing it for years.

"LCD Displays" !? (1)

louism (25880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266763)

Is that kind of like a liquid crystal display display? I bit like these ATM machines I've been hearing about?

Not the real future (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12268332)

I think that before getting 3d on monitors, we should solve the problem of those monitors not displaying the vivid range of colors that the eye can percieve. If you know a bit about digital compositing, you've probably heard about HDR, and I personally think this is the next logical step in monitors. There's at least one company, who was kind enough to show us a demo unit where I work, who's working on that. Basically, they have two panels : a regular 1600x1200 LCD panel, and a panel comprised of about a thousand while LEDs. So, instead of having a backlight that illuminates the whole screen at same intensity, they have this LED grid that gets brighter in certain areas or tones itself down off in others. This way you can achieve true blacks and really bright whites(think about the sun kind of whites). I've seen a regular monitor and an HDR display next to each other (based on the same NEC LCD), and I've got to tell you, this is really the future. After seeing this, I'll take better colors over 3d any day of the week.
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