April 7, 2008
According to aka.tv, full scale trials of Microsoft’s Surface interative table top are about to begin in the ‘States. This is a significant landmark in the development of gesture-based interfaces, and something we are sure to be seeing a lot more of in the next few years. Products like Surface allow technology to become much more user-transparent, and therefore much more accessible. The combination of Surface and mobile phones is an excellent example of how this can work in practice.
AT&T Stores in 5 locations across the US, will be the first to install the new Microsoft touch-screen interactive 30″ tabletop display – ‘Surface’ – on 17th April.
Customers will be able to place one of eight handsets on the display, and the computer will immediately recognize the phone and present information on the device. Placing another phone on Surface will allow users to trigger side-by-side cost and feature comparisons of the handsets.
As well as general media on the phones, AT&T is touting the ability for customers to view an interactive network coverage map. By using two fingers to pinch or expand the map, users can zero in on their homes, offices and schools to ensure AT&T provides them with good cellular coverage. In the near future, AT&T plans to allow users to customize their phones through Surface by dragging icons of ring tones, graphics and videos over to their handset.
The roll out will then continue through May – and should eventually reach all 2,000 outlets.
March 27, 2008
Flat-panel computer displays could be manufactured quickly and cheaply using novel inkjet printing equipment demonstrated by Japanese scientists.
The technique has already been used to produce the delicate wiring and tiny components needed for flexible screens. The new inkjet head is able to produce drops 1,000 times smaller than standard printers, according to the researchers. Writing in the journal PNAS, the team say the technique also improves the performance of printed circuits. “The present work demonstrates the feasibility of employing inkjet technology… for electronic device applications,” the University of Tokyo team write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“This technique can be applied for patterning high-purity electrically functional materials without preparing original patterning masks,” the researchers write. They were able to create finer details by applying a high voltage to the print head, causing drops in the inkjet to explode into one micron droplets. Using ink made of silver nanoparticles held in a solvent, the researchers printed continuous lines two microns wide and components just one micron across. Although these are large by current microprocessor standards – which can have features measured in nanometres (billionths of a metre) – the researchers believe it is good enough for use in TFT screens.
From InAVate Magazine
March 11, 2008
We’ve written before on Talkback about new kinds of HMIs which may well change the way we interact with technology in the future. Previously, we’ve blogged about LucidTouch, a system developed jointly by Mitsubishi Electric and Microsoft. Another very interesting technology being worked on at the moment by Microsoft is called Touchlight. Like LucidTouch, Touchlight acts as a multi-point touch interface allowing sophisticated and intuitive manipulation of on-screen data. However its underlying technology is fundementally different, allowing it to go well beyond what LucidTouch can do. If you’ve ever seen Minority Report, you’ll have a pretty good idea about how this technology can be employed. It’s still early days, but it is – for the want of a better word – a very cool technology.
TouchLight is comprised of an imaging touch screen and holographic projection surface, and uses a stereo pair of video cameras to allow it to interpret gesture-based interaction. Developed by Microsoft Research employee Andrew D. Wilson, Touchlight was first announced in 2005, and since 2006 has been licensed to Eon Reality. 
The TouchLight system can both record input from its video cameras and project data simultaneously. Its 3D capabilities allow it to be used as intuitively as a mirror – holding an object like a document close to the screen surface allows a high-resolution image to be captured, which can then be directly manipulated on the same screen. See it in action here The screen also has a built-in microphone which can detect the user tapping on the surface, thus allowing “click” type interactions through the same interface.
It’s still early days for Touchlight, but some interesting applications have already been mooted, such as in telepresence systems. Virtual meetings which allow delegates to not only see and here each other in psuedo 3D, but swap documents and virtual objects in real time would be just about the coolest technology imaginable. This is one technology that we’ll be following closely.
February 26, 2008
Hyundai Motor announced that it completed the development of its in-dash dual LCD monitor which can display two different pictures simultaneously based on one the viewer angle. This means the driver can see the navigation while at the same time the passenger watches a DVD movie. According to the company, the newly developed monitor will be applied to Grandeur.
By Grace Won 2008-02-20
January 26, 2008
Having already shown concept models of its laser TVs (left) at an earlier CES, Mitsubishi came to this year’s show with working versions, designed to show the superiority of the technology for large screens.
The company is claiming the system gives ‘as much as twice as much colour’ as conventional HD TVs, along with ‘ the most clarity and depth of field.’
Mitsubishi claims that current HD TVs display less than 40% of the colour spectrum the eye can see, but the precise focus and purity of laser illumination doubles that figure. What’s more, the TVs do this while reducing power consumption, as they are more efficient than similarly-sized conventional flatscreen TVs.
Also on display by Mitsubishi was 3D TV, which the company sees as the next big step for home entertainment. Using a 73in 1080P DLP Diamond Series rear projection model, the company partnered with 3D content provider REAL D to make its case.
The claim is that only DLP sets such as this are capable of displaying this 3D material, thanks to their superior response times, unmatched by plasma or LCD rivals.
All the Diamond Series 1080P DLP models are 3D-Ready, and the company expects there to be over a million 3D-Ready HD TVs in use in the States before the end of this year.
From What Hifi Sound & Vision