Aris Silzars Display Technology Consulting

DISPLAY CONSULTING


 Dreams Fulfilled…

Almost since the beginning days of television more than 60 years ago, we dreamed of and pursued the quest for televisions that would someday hang on our walls like fine-art paintings.  In the last 10 years we have realized this dream beyond our wildest imaginings.   Did anyone -- even 20 years ago -- expect that we would have flat-panel displays so large that we wouldn’t know where to find the wall space to place them?  And did anyone think that we would be analyzing these images by comparing them to the resolution capabilities of our own eyes? 

In the year 1968, we were treated to the classic science fiction movie 2001 – A Space Odyssey.  Most of the space travel innovations depicted in that movie did not come to pass.  We don’t have an elaborate space station and we don’t have a computer that can emulate human misbehavior.  However, we do have tablet computers that are very much like the ones shown being used by the astronauts on their way to Jupiter.  Another dream that has come to pass much as envisioned over 40 years ago.  

Some years ago, we also enjoyed the Star Trek series on television.  Captain Kirk used a “communicator” that we today would recognize as having an uncanny likeness to smart-phones or even the more modest flip-phones.  In fact, it seems that our smart phones have significantly more capability than the communicators that Captain Kirk and his crew had at their disposal.

Then in 1954, we had the classic movie 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  In it Captain Nemo’s sophisticated submarine had lighting that did not generate heat.  How was this accomplished?  To my recollection the story line did not provide an explanation.  It was a magical invention that only Captain Nemo knew about.  Yet here we are 60 years later with not only LED and OLED technology available to us but even a government mandate to use it in our homes.  Wouldn’t Captain Nemo have had a good laugh about that?

All of these dreams and fantasies of the past century have come to pass.  Many others, such as human space travel, haven’t even come close to being realized and may not be for decades to come.

There is a common thread in all the realized dreams and those that have even surpassed our fantasies of yesteryear.  They all relate to displays.  We have made them small, large, flat, high-resolution, colorful, lightweight, sunlight readable, and energy efficient.   They are indeed very very good. 

Now comes the hard question.  What dreams and fantasies remain yet to be satisfied?  What else do we need or would like to have?  Do we need them to be flexible, or sewn into clothing?  Doesn’t seem all that exciting to me.  What else have we imagined in the past that would give us a direction of an unmet need or desire? 

Perhaps the closest I can come up with as a major leap in viewing capability would be a true virtual reality experience.   That would require a display environment capable of modeling the world around us in the same way as we perceive it.  In the Star Trek series I believe this was described as the “holodeck”.   Perhaps we are not such a long way from being able to do that.  However, our current efforts at stereoscopic 3D do not even come close to creating a realistic viewing experience.  In fact, the double image stereo views in our current displays are more likely to be a distraction from what we would otherwise enjoy from our high-definition flat-panel screens. 

A starting point in this quest for the “holodeck” could be a head-mounted display that produces superb images that can instantly respond to head movement and eye movement of the user.  If we can create a display that mimics what our eyes are expecting to see as we scan our virtually created surroundings, compensates accurately for head position and movement, and mimics the focal depth of the virtual objects – then we may be on to something.  A fantasy world that realistic would be quite the adventure. 

The technology to accomplish this is close at hand.   No fundamental inventions are required.   But for the major manufacturers of consumer televisions and smart phones would there be a large enough market to dedicate the engineering resources necessary to develop a really interesting virtual reality product?  In the beginning there may only be limited appeal for certain special applications such as games.   

Does this mean that we have no more major dreams to fulfill?  Perhaps we are now entering a period of more gradual improvements that refine our dreams.  New experiences may not come about as quickly as the iPad and the iPhone did.     

Are you ready for a virtual reality experience?  I am.  It would be a great way to do virtual sightseeing of places in the world that may otherwise be too difficult or too dangerous to access.   If you would like to offer your thoughts or dreams about this future, you may contact me directly from this site, by email at silzars@attglobal.net, or by telephone at 425-898-9117.        

  

  

 

19916 NE 30th Ct. Sammamish, WA 98074 Call 425.898.9117

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