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Displays Technology

Windows that Double as LCD Monitors 275

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the everything-should-be-multi-purpose dept.
Mynister writes "The AP has a story about the windows of the future they can go from clear to opaque and the can also act as an LCD TV or Computer Monitor. They accomplish it by placing a LCD Screen over the window and embed the speakers in the frame."
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Windows that Double as LCD Monitors

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  • The AP has a story about the windows of the future they can go from clear to opaque and the can also act as an LCD TV or Computer Monitor.

    Does Bill Gates know about this development? I smell a lawsuit...
  • Future? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Malicious (567158) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:00PM (#7989359)
    If they already have them, wouldn't that make them the windows of the Now?

    Further, can they legally call them the 'W' word?

    • Re:Future? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Orion442 (739483)
      "an opening especially in the wall of a building for admission of light and air that is usually closed by casements or sashes containing transparent material (as glass) and capable of being opened and shut" seems a bit wordy
      • "an opening especially in the wall of a building for admission of light and air that is usually closed by casements or sashes containing transparent material (as glass) and capable of being opened and shut" sounds like a patent!
    • Re:Future? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Levvie (680828)
      I've seen them like 12 years ago in "the house of the future" in Brussels, toghether with an induction cooker, 56K internet, a self-filling fridge and a house with domotica lighting, fully handled by a pc. Still I remember the tour-guide telling us the window-blurring was done using the same technology used for display panels on measuring equipment and calculators, lcd.

      Seems that not everything is being developed at the same speed. Interesting to notice a project like 'living tomorrow' is more likely to sh
    • Some may want to take a look at this link.. something similar has been around for a recent while. Jestertek PointOfView [jestertek.com]
  • My wife, the architect, has been saying for years that they needed to make some of these. Of course, it'll be a while before these come down to a reasonable price, but when they do -- well, I think a hearty w00t is appropriate here!

    Ah, to be able to kick back in the den on a summer's evening, watching the sun sink slowly below the horizon, and then *CLICK* Matrix Re-re-re-reloaded, without even having to move my eyeballs!

    • by MikeXpop (614167) <mike@re d c r o w b a r . com> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:08PM (#7989520) Journal
      Ah, to be able to kick back in the den on a summer's evening, watching the sun sink slowly below the horizon, and then *CLICK* Matrix Re-re-re-reloaded, without even having to move my eyeballs!
      That would look very strange from the outside. And even if they somehow make this one-way, that would be quite creepy seeing a whole family stare out a window. I won't even mention pr0n.
      • Those who live in glasses houses shouldn't watch porn. And they definitely shouldn't make their own. Though in New York, they could have a hell of a time suing people for voyeurism (which is illegal here even if it's accidental).
    • My wife, the architect,

      since you mentioned The Matrix... wasn't The Architect a male?

    • by Golias (176380) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:27PM (#7989813)
      I have three concerns about this idea:

      1. The level of light behind my display will change throughout the day according to how much sunlight is hitting that window.

      2. Birds and baseballs can fly into my computer screen, costing me a lot of money and taking away precious web browsing and TV watching time while I'm getting a replacement window.

      3. I live in Minnesota, where gas-filled triple-pane windows are commonplace, to help insulate against our sub-zero (F) winters. How well would this LCD retain heat?

    • My wife, the architect, has been saying for years that they needed to make some of these. Of course, it'll be a while before these come down to a reasonable price, but when they do -- well, I think a hearty w00t is appropriate here!

      Ah, to be able to kick back in the den on a summer's evening, watching the sun sink slowly below the horizon, and then *CLICK* Matrix Re-re-re-reloaded, without even having to move my eyeballs!


      Haha! Are you seriously considering this as listed in specs?

      First of all... it wo
  • The perfect addition to that corner office!
  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#7989395) Homepage
    This is basically an LCD monitor, using the sun instead of a backlight. Brings a new meaning to Microsoft's "Windows Everywhere" ads.
  • by kneecarrot (646291) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#7989398)
    I would love it if I could flip a switch and my window would show an image instead of me being able to see my "generously-proportioned" neighbour empty his garbage in the nude. Yes, yes... I know I could also use curtains... but that's so low-tech!
    • I just need to point out, that depending on how you take "generously proportioned", it could mean several different things. Even on a guy.
      • That's a good point. However, being heterosexual, I don't think I would be interested in seeing some guy's foot long member outside my window. (I'm assuming that this is one of your meanings)

        I guess I would want to take one look at it, given the old "locker room" curiousity, but after that... no thanks.

  • Reminds me of the translucent displays in "Minority Report" and other futuristic movies. The future is now!
  • by MrDigital (741552) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#7989404)
    Ahh, imagine the world of that hot girl you live beside undressing behind her opaque window and you change it to transparent.

    Glorious!
  • by thoolie (442789) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#7989411) Homepage
    I remember when I was in 9th grade shop class. They were showing a video made in 1989. It was showcasing all of the great things about the future and what it would bring. One was this magic box that would let you order online plane tickets and the such. The other was a window that would turn opaque when a current was brought through it. And to think, it only took 15 years for this to go from "MAGIC TV LAND" to reality!

    • >>...a window that would turn opaque when a current was brought through it.

      And that would be different from 1970s-era LCD technology, in what way?

      >>And to think, it only took 15 years for this to go from "MAGIC TV LAND" to reality!

      The Marketing Weasels were a little preoccupied during the dot-bomb era convincing retailers that yes, indeed, people really do want to buy cat litter and doggie kibbles via a web site. Cut 'em some slack... they'll get back to real-world problems eventually.
    • And to think, it only took 15 years for this to go from "MAGIC TV LAND" to reality!
      They had those in the bathrooms of the Princeville hotel on Kauai in 1995.
  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:02PM (#7989413) Homepage
    This seems pretty cool to me.

    I just bought a house, and it has a beautiful living room with windows on each side. I like it because I can soak in the view from the windows. But I don't like it because the light from the windows can completely overwhelm the brightness of my screen.

    It would be very cool to have my window turn partially transparent so I could still enjoy the view but not have it overwhelm the screen. Very cool idea.

    Anyone know how much this costs?

    D
    • There's this great new device that accomplishes this. I just had it installed in my den.

      It's called "curtains." They install a fibrous semi-transparent membrane over an organic dowel. And it was only $79.95 at some technology wwarehouse called "linens and things!"

      While we were there, we picked up this other awesome device that reduces the the effect of water cohesion after a shower...they called it a "towel"...god I love the 21st century!
      • Okay, I laughed :-).

        The problem with this technology is that it blocks out the view, and it blocks out light at times when the light is desired. When I bought the house, it came with some extremely heavy curtains that were made of very nice material. Even when not in use, they hid the more interesting parts of the view, and made the room funeral-dark. It's possible that this has prejudged me too much against curtains.

        The ideal is still to be able to look at the view, but to subdue the light. I don't t

  • So your neighbors too can watch that spicy channel late night?

    No thanks, I'll stick to regular.
  • by addie (470476) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:03PM (#7989428)
    that most computer users need is to block out more of the outside world.

    I recommend a window BESIDE your monitor.
  • FBI warning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Metryq (716104) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:03PM (#7989435)
    Great, so everyone outside will be able to see what you're looking at on your computer (in reverse of course). The FBI warning on videotapes and DVDs states that the program is only for private home use. Will playing a movie on one of these window/screens be a violation? :)
    • Re:FBI warning (Score:3, Informative)

      Have you ever tried to look at a non-backlit LCD panel? You can't really see anything. I think that if the internal lights to the home were off (like during a movie) there wouldn't be much of a problem with external viewing.
      • I own a Gameboy Advance (pre-SP). I can see what's on it as long as light is hitting it, especially if it is sunlight. A TV screen with sunlight hitting it would be even easier to see.
    • If it is, wouldn't having your TV in view from the street be a violation as well?

      These days, when most people have giant TVs, you can drive down the street at night and do your very own Neilsen ratings.

      I can't see how you could be resposible for it - unless it's the Spice channel, and you have kids gathered under your window.

  • by Flwyd (607088)
    "I was channel flipping, and all of a sudden I saw this awesome car drive down the street!"

    Would people outside be able to see what you're watching? (In reverse, natch.)

    "I love my translucent windows in MacOS X; now I can watch the grass grow while I surf the web!"

  • Looks like it will always be a sunny day at my house! And I can look into getting a condo without having to worry about the view. At least this seems like a lot less work than this. [slashdot.org]
  • They accomplish it by placing a LCD Screen over the window and embed the speakers in the frame.

    Wow, now that's innovation.

    Next.
  • "...hey, Bob, what's the weather like out there?" *snicker*

    "Well, it's a little cloudy, looks like it might..."

    *tikkita tappity*
    . o O ( ...o - a - t - s - e - dot - c - x...)
    *takka TAK!*

    "AAAAAaaaaugh!"

    • 1. Install window in boardroom
      2. Call board meeting
      3. Chairman starts presentation
      4. Goatse appears
      5. Chairman is fired
      6. Profit!
    • Might not be a problem much longer, see http://goatse.cx Quote:
      ALERT
      The CX Registry has shut off the goatse.cx domain suddenly and without warning.
      They have cowardly cited a section of their AUP with allows them to remove sites at their discretion.
      Please e-mail info@nic.cx with your opinion of this matter.

      So first the machine that hosts loopback.goatse.cx loses its dns, then the box that hosted irc.goatse.cx goes down (both mine), and now the parent domain is battleing with nic.cx. Things do not look goo
  • Slack on. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m_chan (95943) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#7989472) Homepage
    I need one of these magic windows on the door to my office. It could run a video of myself, appearing to be sitting at my desk coding feverishly when I am actually sitting at my desk posting to stuffy matter news sites. Oh wait. What did I need the magic window for?
  • Old tech (Score:3, Informative)

    by jkabbe (631234) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#7989477)
    Maybe the technology is better now but this is at least a decade old. I can't wait until they get this cheap enough for "normal people" to have them in their house though.
  • will see what porn you are watching :)
  • imagine the possibilites for your shower door...
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:06PM (#7989491) Journal
    "Are you staring at our neighbor's teenage daughter sunbathing again, you pervert?!"
    "No, I swear I'm watching TV..."

  • So, when every Window is a computer monitor / tv / sterio capable of displaying the latest high-resolution mars photos and OSX/KDE/gnome desktop (or Windows desktop for those less advantaged), who retains the trademark on Windows(tm).

    Microsoft, or Anderson? :-)

    Or do we all now have to start calling our windows "glass enclosures" on pain of lawsuit?
  • Slow glass (Score:2, Informative)

    by Slurm-V (513189)
    Add a video camera and a hard drive and you've got yourself some slow glass (as per Bob Shaw's Other Days, Other Eyes [amazon.com] collection of stories. Hoopy.
  • Opaque LCD windows (Score:3, Informative)

    by soapbox (695743) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:08PM (#7989517)
    For about a decade there has been the technology that allowed office windows to go opaque by using LCD sheets between the panes and a low-voltage current to dim or darken them. The Soviets/Russians developed this idea a long time ago but had little use for it, and after 1991, neither did we...

    Now if they'd just give me an office with a window, I could have that nice view of Standing Indian Mountain I've always wanted...
  • Bye Bye Curtains (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MissMarvel (723385)
    And venitian blinds. Window coverings will automatically appear with the flip of a switch. I wonder how efficent these new windows are with regards to heat-loss.
  • ...you're paying thousands or tens of thousands for a new pane of glass, rather than a few quid.

    That will make the local vandals happy.

    K

  • by overshoot (39700) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:10PM (#7989577)
    Microsoft will sue them for trademark violation -- after all, it's "Windows" in the context of a computer display.
  • Ah inventions from movies....

    Now instead of looking out the window or wall, I can have breakfast at the beach!

    I guess the next thing they'll come out with is fingernail polish that changes with a click.
  • What would people see on the other side. Would they just get like a white image, would they be able to see what you are looking at.

    or with the way ads are going now a-days would you see a commercial for some new and improved product on the backside.
  • Okay, so you've got your window/display, and there's a camera on the outside showing what's going on outside.

    You tap the part of the display that corresponds to the sky, and you get the weather report. Or you tap the part that is displaying the street, and you get a traffic report. You tap your neighbor's house, and it gives you their name(s), phone number(s), whatever info you have on them on your computer. Could be interesting.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:17PM (#7989678)
    Imagine seeing unsolicited advertised around you house all the time!
  • Hell no! (Score:2, Funny)

    by jhagler (102984)
    That's my porn, I'm not sharing with the neighbors.

  • Maybe this "window turns TV/monitor" thing can be feasible for an internal window (e.g. between rooms). But I just can't believe it will ever be able to show a well balanced color image (photo/video) both when it's night and clear day outside. Neither projection TVs nor Plasmas are able to display a good "black color".
  • This looks like the same technology used in Sum of All Fears [apple.com] when they walk into the glass room with panels and it goes to a white opaque.
  • That would be one time when we could run Linux on windows.

    Thanks, I'm here till Thursday.

  • ... at a home improvement trade show. Not capable of display but of varying the opacity of the glass, thus obviating blinds or shades. Man, they were expensive. About $5,000 for a typical window! I figured by now, I'd at least see them available them in cars. Flying cars.
  • Just being able to go from transparent to opaque could be a great feature. Think of small apartments with these windows instead of walls; transparency between rooms would make the place feel larger and more livable. If your friends come over you can just darken the windows to your messy kitchen. (You would probably want to make sure that the controls for the windows to the bathroom don't fall into the wrong hands...)
  • You use the windows then to simulate any size house you want. I recall an Isaac Asimov novel about this premise.
  • The scenery channel.
  • by b00m3rang (682108) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @04:21PM (#7989730)
    "This concept car, of sorts, for houses"
    Wouldn't that make it a concept house?
    "Officials say the speakers are high-fidelity"
    Whew, I was beginning to worry they weren't going to include any accurate performance specifications.
  • The future of windows! This is so cool! I knew this whole Linux thing was just a fad and that Bill Gates would lead Microsoft and bring Windows into the new millennium with a gusto! I just knew that...

    Oh...

    Wait...

    Wrong type of windows.

    My bad.

    (That officially ends my horribly bad attempt at humor for the day)
  • And what happens when the temperature drops below 0F? Don't LCD's have a freezing point? Windows get very cold in the winter, especially in northern climates...
  • Doesn't sound as exciting once you read the article. Yes it uses LCD but only for the transparency, the picture is actually projected onto the screen from a projector. A mix of modern day technology. Glass that go black and transparent have been around for a while, the only different I could see is that this would go white so the projector has a nice screen to work from.
  • by Cyno (85911)
    Batter Up!
  • Could you really use direct sun as a backlight? At least with a monitor, if the sun gets on it I can shift it: it would suck to have to stop work because the sun is directly behind the window you're working on.
  • ...Jim Benney, executive director of the National Fenestration* Rating Council, an industry group that assesses windows...

    Hey, I want to be executive director of an industry group that assesses Windows too! Can we call it the National Frustration Rating Council? Hmm so many possibilities for N.F. Rating Council :)

    * Note - How cool is it to have a job where you get to say fenestration every day?
  • HUD for your car? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noc007 (633443)
    I wonder if this would work out as a HUD for a car. I also wouldn't mind my rear window to display a logo or my frustrations:

    The peddle is on the right

    Learn to drive

    The fast lane is for people driving fast. What a F'ing concept. You are drivng slow. Get in the slow lane.

    Bitch

    Doing 45 while getting on the interstate is more dangerous than safe. Consider taking roads that don't envolve you using the gas peddle.

    Yes, I am an asshole. Yes, you suck at driving.

    Green means go. To go, you hit the gas peddle.

  • This is just another opportunity for Microsoft to expand their monopoly. Next thing you know they'll be edging out Linux and spreading FUD about ...

    Oh wait. You mean that kind of windows. I thought this story was about something else. Never mind. I guess I'be been reading too much Slashdot.

  • Now you can combine your main pasttime with your second great love: internet porn! Horray!
  • I had always been a fan of the word 'defenestration,' meaning the act of throwing someone from a window. So, I was extremely gratified to find that there exists a National Fenestration Rating Council to measure the quality of such apertures.

  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @05:17PM (#7990622)
    So if you turn your picture window into a huge TV screen, does that mean the neighbors will end up watching everything in reverse?
  • ... i would be concerned, since windows get broken a lot. Dumb birds, stray baseballs, and clumsy houseguests could be a big problem for the wallet - just to name a few.
  • Having there system lockup, poweroff and then getting blasted in the face with sunlight.
  • Thank god they figured out where to put the speakers. I was afraid I might have to actually get a stereo or something.

    Seriously, does anyone find it funny that they still stick speakers in every TV? I'm sorry, but if I can afford a $10,000 television (or even a $1,000 screen) what's the likelihood that I'm actually going to use those crappy built in speakers? Please, just save me a couple bucks and ditch the speakers.
  • loads burning up electricity in western households. These windows (if i remember correctly) are clear when a current is applied, opaque when it is removed.

    What the world doesnt need is a 1000kWh-a-day window blind. sheesh.
  • by POds (241854)
    Is this the best people can come up with when they think about technology of the future? I for one think its rediculous. Infact the only pleasure i'd get from having the TV turned on (and being a window) is that it stops the freaking harsh Australian sun getting through.

    But then again, in the winter, you want that. TV in a window is a very stupid idea indeed. Just give me a normal flat tv that i can hook up to the puter and i'll be happy.
  • I saw somebody using these at a trade show booth 8 years ago.
    There's also a scene in the movie Philadelphia where Andy
    goes into the board room (to get fired) and they flip a switch and
    the windows go from clear to frosty. As I remember, they Foley'ed
    in a big "clunk" when the switch is thrown. I guess it needed an audio
    cue so you would notice that it happened.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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