“CSpace creates a virtual moving screen display that contains a variety of particles suspended within its volumetric image space. When these particles are excited by two different infrared lasers, they illuminate to generate a 3D image.”
The two infrared lasers combine to form an image in a “volumetric image space” (something like a clear cube). The breakthrough made is in the technology as well as the display quality. Not only can the 3D image be viewed from any angle, but it also displays an incredibly high resolution. On top of this, the whole prototype requires no moving parts. So far they’ve only been able to create green 3D objects, but the hope is to eventually create full-color 3D images.
Leaked photos of the next generation Mac Mini suggest that Apple is committed to steadily shrinking components and appears to be on the road to something that may look a lot like this vision of the iPhone 2015 that we published last November:
Sometimes it’s hard for people to get an accurate sense of what the future holds for certain technologies. For instance, could the average person three years ago have imagined that something like the 3G iPhone could exist now?
It is for this reason I present this vision of the iPhone circa 2015.
Contact Lens Display
The most interesting feature of the iPhone 2015 is its first generation Contact Lens Display System. If there’s one thing that iPhone users believe themselves to be, and that Apple stresses all the time, it’s that people who use Apple products are independent and unique. It is for this reason that an eyeglass display was thrown out. No iPhone user would be caught dead wearing the same glasses as over ten million other iPhone users. The fact is, glasses are cumbersome. They gather dirt, get lost easily, and make sports rather difficult.
In 2007, development of a contact lens display system began at the University of Washington, Seattle. “Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.” In the time between now and 2015, the cost involved in the production of a contact lens display will likely reduce in price, meaning the loss of one won’t reduce you to tears in case of loss.
The problems associated with contact lenses (protein build-up, 8-hour wear limit, annoyance of constant inserting and removal) will be lessened with oxygen-permeable lenses. O2OPTIX, a company currently specializing in such breathable lenses, already sells a lens capable of week-long wear without removal. “O2OPTIX is made with a revolutionary silicone hydrogel technology allowing up to 5 times more oxygen through the lens than the leading traditional 2-week lens, to help protect from the signs and symptoms of corneal oxygen deficiency.” It only makes sense that seven years from now a lens will be developed which can last even longer making wearable contact lenses less of a pain.
Of course there always is the option of implanting the lens permanently into the eye, but who would ever go under invasive surgery for first generation technology?
Here’s an interesting demo video depicting a vision of what the computer might look like in 2020. The reason for posting this is that it’s truly different than most of the other “computers of the future” videos I’ve seen on the web. Check it out:
The obvious problem with this theoretical computer is that it is in fact just a computer. Many people expect that in the future computers will be more than just computers. To appease the consumer, computers will need to play music, take photos, write papers, make phone calls, interface with your home, or even give back massages. This is just a small projector crammed into a small yet powerful computer. Not so exciting when you think about it, eh?
But there is something we can take out of a demo like this. If we view this as a possible guide for future development instead of an actual product then it immediately seems less ridiculous. There are indeed advancements being made in laser keyboards. Even storage space is becoming so cheap that we find ourselves asking if we really need a 500 Gigabyte hard drive, much less a two Terabyte hard drive. If we keep throwing out ideas, no matter how crazy, some of the good ones will stick and hopefully find their way into future products. Keep thinking, keep producing, you’re helping.
Samsung shocked some crowds at the FPD International 2008 this year by displaying a .05mm thick OLED display. Oh, and did I mention there just “happened” to be a fan nearby that caused it to flap around? Because there was.
Called the Flapping Display, Samsung really outdid itself. In fact, one staffer at the event mentioned “It is technically possible to make the panel thinner. However, it is difficult to further reduce the thicknesses of the flexible substrates and circuit components around it.” Way to be modest. I wonder how long before OLED screens start appearing everywhere — on the sides of cars, in our phones, even on a future high-end Kindle.
One thing is for sure, OLED is going to change everything.
The grainy video you see above is footage of the new Samsung concept phone. While much is not known about it, the video itself is quite amazing simply because it’s the first time a real physical phone has had a flexible display incorporated into it. The best part (for me) was when the phone folded and the keypad was on the other side, gives it a sort of realism to it, like it’ll be available soon.
When can you expect it?
Again, not much information is given about the concept phone, but chances are that you will be seeing it by next summer, winter at the latest. The real question though is whether or not the display is touch-sensitive — a large screen won’t do you much good if you can’t interact with it.
What you are seeing is a literal replication of movie magic come to life. Dubbed “g-speak’ by its developers, it uses a “combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels brings the first major step in computer interface since 1984.” They believe this method of computer interaction will be far better suited to the “data-intensive” work people are increasingly doing with their computers (the fact that more than one user can operate a single machine speaks volumes towards this belief).
The tie-in with Minority Report is no coincidence. One of the founders of Oblong worked as a science advisor on the set of that movie and incorporated many of his earlier work at MIT into the set. You can see similarities in the design like having a dedicated room, wearing special gloves, even specialized hand gestures that give it an almost Tai Chi-like feel to it. You could Zen out while doubling your productivity.
HP and the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University announced their first prototype of a flexible screen that is both easy to produce and affordable. Made almost entirely out of plastic, the displays hope to revolutionize the size of our electronics such as laptops, phones and televisions. The amazing thing about it is their prototype consumes 90% less material than traditional displays of the same screen size.
It's been difficult for flexible screens to break into the mass market due to their cost and complicated design, but with recent breakthroughs like this we can expect flexible displays start to show up in our everyday lives by next year. I mean, if they can build a plant that can crank out thousands of feet of thin film solar fairly quickly, it would make sense they could use the same type of production to mass-produce flexible displays.