Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Displays and what the future holds

I am always looking at screens wondering why My eye catches on a illuminated screen as if I was transfixed like a dog on a piece of shiny object. Shiny things present intense, characteristic stimuli, and are used in social signals and communication, even in creatures that do not see art in our terms. Such dramatic signals may be based on anatomy or physiology, such as peacock tails or the or may be collected and arranged as adornments, like bird displays and human medals or finery. Much as we enjoy speech, we enjoy communication by vivid stimuli in a broader range of contexts. What is it that draws us to shiny things? Its doesn't seem logical to think we began liking diamonds, gold and other polished metals and jewels because of their rarity.  It seems logical that we liked shiny things, then the more rare a particular shiny thing was, the more valuable it became... (I'll get to value some other time.)
In various cults and religions there is power given to the crystalline form, and those things which have such form. But can we still make such statements in todays cynical, scientific age?  I think not; my best guesses derive from psychological and evolutionary theories. I think the most logical way to explain our interest in shiny things is evolutionary (biologically or socially.)

Clean, drinkable water is shiny - its surface reflects light - so it catches our eye from a distance.  It makes sense that somehow there is a genetic predisposition to shiny things, such that those animals with such a disposition are more adept at finding water - thus better adapted toward survival.  This might be testable to see if other animals (esp. other primates) have an affinity for shiny stuff.
Another explanation, that is not too different from the first, comes from a more social/psychological way of thinking. Eyes, healthy eyeballs, are shiny (that kind of 'clear' reflective shiny that clean water has.)  Further, eyes have a high priority for humans, as they are the sensory receptor that has the most advantageous distance to time ratio (the receive stimulation from the farthest away stimuli the fastest - essentially at the speed of light.) So to mate with an other that has healthy eyes is again evolutionarily proper.

But I can go off topic, the latest shiny object that catches my eye is the worlds thinnest display imagine that you want to hold light in mid air and you need a way to control or suspend it in mid air. In a normal display would be a cathode ray tube which emits phosphorescent light once the electrons from the bak of the tube hits the screen. The scanning lines left and right as well as up and down makes up the whole picture. This is now replaced my liquid crystal displays which allow the picture information to shine through a series of tiny windows that allow light to pass. Giving the technology to project light through the L.C.D. display, with a strong enough light source you could project a large enough image on your wall.
DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors work by shining a light through a color filter and then on to a Digital micro-mirror Device which bounces the light off into a series of lenses to create a scanned picture on the wall. There is also a laser projector which uses lasers as a light source and a DLP configuration.

Having a video projection on a wall can be an enjoyable activity, But what could be next on the evolutionary ladder for monitor screens?. Some might say 3D holographic projections but reason to complex explain, you have to recreate the same conditions for a holographic picture. A task that will take computational power to emit light at the precise angel according to the observer. Another is a relatively easy idea of projecting to bubbles or to a membrane. Light will shine through a bubble but add a vibrating frequency and you will create a barrier that will stop the light shine through. If wanted to you can even create several membranes like layers with these screen switching between each layer. Its hard to predict the future of screens as lcds or Organic light Emitting Diode (OLED) screens do such a good job. Work has begun on Holographic TV already predicting possible sale projections. But science hasn't perfected a way to stop light in mid-air to reconstruct a video picture. In augmentative reality you can have your phone screen showing you virtual tags as you look around the city for something interesting to do. The same motion track technology can make an interviewee look as if he or she is present in the studio even though they are somewhere else. I will probably predict mobile screens and augmentative reality will go hand in hand for map reading. The jury is still out for alternatives to LCD screens and video projectors.

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