Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays Hardware

LCD Screen With Embedded Optical Sensors 113

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the the-screen-that-looks-back dept.
dk3nn3dy writes "Sharp has developed a LCD display with optical sensors built into the displays pixels, without requiring a touch-sensitive film to be bonded on top of the regular screen. The optical sensor is similar to that used in scanners, allowing for notes or business cards to be scanned by the screen itself. As the optical recognition technology is built into the pixels it also simplifies tactile recognition based on simultaneously touching multiple points. Future uses include fingerprint authentication on the screen of your mobile phone or PDA, or iPhone style touch recognition. Volume production will start next spring."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

LCD Screen With Embedded Optical Sensors

Comments Filter:
  • Is it true? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:27PM (#20454845)
    Future uses include fingerprint authentication on the screen

    I heard development was funded almost entirely by Windex.
    • Imagine all those pron websites "watching" all those wankers..
      Big Brother will get a new swing in it's name..
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tomhudson (43916)

        We'll have to stop with the "In Soviet Russia computer monitors YOU!" jokes.

        Schizophrenics will finally be able to say "See - it IS watching me!"

        Of course, since they're more sensitive to IR than to visible wavelengths, you can defeat them by pointing a heat lamp at them. You'll still be able to see the picture, but "they" won't be able to see you.

      • by MikeFM (12491)
        A little to much like 1984 for my tastes although it seems this technology is pretty cool. It's all in how it's used. I wonder if they could implement this in screens without users knowing. That is the scariest part I think. Still, hiding a camera in a standard tv wouldn't be that hard so no huge deal unless cable companies begin giving televisions away for nothing or something suspicious like that.
        • There is a book by Peter W. Huber called "Orwell's Revenge: a 1984 palimpsest" which has a very interesting take on this notion. Huber took all of Eric Blair's writing and fed it into a computer (a 386 IIRC, it was written in the early nineties). Then he cut-and-pasted together a completely different story, using Orwell's own words and phrases, in which people were able to resist Big Brother by exploiting the bi-directional nature of the telescreens. Basically he looks at the telescreen network as what t
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          If you hold a mirror up in front of it, then it sets up a feedback loop and burns out the camera. Feller who used to work for the BBC told me once.
    • by sethstorm (512897) *

      Future uses include fingerprint authentication on the screen
      Not to mention the various manufacturers of gummi bears.
    • What about Apple? They filed a patent a year or so back on a type of display that had a camera element on each pixel (apparently the current iMac isn't enough like Orwell's telescreen for them).
  • Focus length? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chairboy (88841) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:27PM (#20454851) Homepage
    I wonder if this technology could be used to two-way displays? Instead of a discrete camera, just have the whole screen be an interferometry based "camera". Video phone where you're looking at each other instead of slightly off to one side...
    • Re:Focus length? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:39PM (#20455045)
      Unlikely, the lens technology is almost assuredly limited to focusing just a mm or so beyond the front glass. This might be the start of that ability, but I would expect for the video phone to arrive before that does. People by and large just don't want to have to worry about their appearance when calling or emailing.

      I would be very curious to hear how they are planning to deal with the fingerprints and scratching that will almost assuredly occur.
      • Most decent mobiles have a video camera mounted on the front these days anyway.. stills camera on the back, video cam on the front. Not that I've ever used it of course.

        My phone also has a touchscreen, which doesn't have any scratches that I've noticed, and the fingerprints just wipe off... we already have all the technology for loads of cool stuff that is supposedly 'future' tech. We just don't have the right pricing schemes.. stupid greedy telcos..
      • by quenda (644621)
        > but I would expect for the video phone to arrive before that does

        Where have you been? Millions of people have cell-phones with video-call capability,
        they just don't use it much. It has been around for years now.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3G [wikipedia.org]

        wiki say 200 million subscribers.
      • by ronocdh (906309)

        People by and large just don't want to have to worry about their appearance when calling or emailing.
        Right, just like people by and large don't care about how they look when using their computers. But they do! Ever since the webcam was invented, at least.
        • by hedwards (940851)
          I don't have one, neither do any of the people that I know. I don't think that I personally know a single person that has a webcam. The reason being that people don't want to have to fix themselves up before making a call.

          I never said that nobody wants a video phone, I specifically put a qualifier on their because there is a small percentage of people that for their own reasons would like to be seen as they speak.

          Yes, it probably would cut down on the mixed signals and pointless arguments between people due
    • by mikael (484)
      If scientists can construct a neural network that can simulate the infra-red vision of snake [physorg.com], then doing the same with the display of a LCD shouldn't be that difficult. Each light sensor element will pick up a sample of light in a conical or rectangular shape. It would just be a matter of deblurring the image [physorg.com].
      • by cnettel (836611)
        The real issue is how small the cone where you get a sharp image would be. In the edges of the screen, you don't have enough data to deblur (you would need pixels beyond the edge to get the full information). You might realize that you can indeed resolve quite fine details, but only for a few pixels in the absolute center, relying on all other pixels to remove the adjacent noise.
    • by obarel (670863)
      I've come up with a name for this invention.

      How about "telescreen"?

    • by Abrilon (976863)
      Apple has patented that technology... it was news in 2006 but have not heard of it since. http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9059 [newscientist.com]
    • "...have the whole screen be an interferometry based 'camera' " Nice thought, but this would be near impossible. Each pixel would be receiving light from every direction at once. Trying to resolve an image on a mat of photoreceptors open to the light without any kind of lens is like grafting your retinas to your forehead.
    • by pkingdot (835017)
      yes..and big brother can now see right in your house without you knowing...or do you know?
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:27PM (#20454853)
    Aside from the obvious concerns; this sounds like a great tech that could allow ....

    shit everything I can think of is evil..

    sorry. =)
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:34PM (#20454961)
      Aside from the obvious concerns; this sounds like a great tech that could allow ....
      shit everything I can think of is evil..
      sorry. =)


      Right, just like your keyboard allows you to share your most personal and private info to the world. But you just won't, how about that.

      Also: it works as a scanner, not a camera. It sees in focus only what's directly placed on top of the screen.

      Good for barcode scanning, touchscreens, or portable scanner. As well as a bunch of other quite cool and "non-evil" uses.
      • by MBraynard (653724)
        Even with it's current capability, I'd suppose various image disgrognification algorythms could discern something that isn't pressed to the screen.
        • by p0tat03 (985078)
          Yes, but how many of you already have webcams attached to your desktops/laptops? How is this technology any different? Hard-wire a "on" LED to the optical sensors and you've got a foolproof protection. Some hacker turns your "camera" on? No sweat, the power LED lights up like a Christmas tree. Almost all webcams have it, and my MacBook Pro does also.
          • by Goaway (82658)

            How is this technology any different?
            It is different in that the webcam can actually take a picture of you, while this can't.
            • by p0tat03 (985078)
              I was assuming that the doomsayers getting all up in arms are right, and that this technology can be adapted to give useful images... But you're right, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Though... A webcam embedded behind the LCD would be very cool, and eliminate the current problem of "I'm talking to you but I'm not looking at you".
          • What's worse was the old UNIX problem with anyone able to access the microphone and speakers on a remote machine. Had a lot of fun in the office with that one, back in the day. Also, since you could by default run apps on the local console in X, we'd throw up screensavers and xview -display 0:0 various images (like Mike Tyson biting the ear off).

            There's nothing better to do with a $300,000 SGI Onyx than to have it meow at you every once in a while.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cellocgw (617879)
          Even with it's current capability, I'd suppose various image disgrognification algorythms could discern something that isn't pressed to the screen.
          No it couldn't, any more than a blank sheet of photographic paper could produce an image (all by itself). Simply put: unless there is a lens, or a pinhole (Google for things like "pinhole camera"), or as someone mentioned, each detector element has a drastically limited field of view, like a dragonfly eye, you won't get an image. Each element in this case just
      • Any device one uses to store/transmit any personal information is a security threat. Would be a good idea to install software/hardware which you know are secure. Otherwise everything is pretty much open to exploitation.
      • by Nirvelli (851945)
        Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to clean ass marks off the copier than an LCD.
    • Winston sprang to attention in front of the telescreen, upon which the image of a youngish woman, scrawny but muscular, dressed in tunic and gym-shoes, had already appeared.

      'Arms bending and stretching!' she rapped out. 'Take your time by me. One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four! Come on, comrades, put a bit of life into it! One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four!'

      [......]

      'Smith!' screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. '6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do

      • by samkass (174571)
        Ironically, perhaps, because of a certain commercial 20 years ago, Apple patented a similar technology a few years ago.

        Although, the first piece of media that this brought to my mind wasn't 1984, but that news sketch from The Kentucky Fried Movie... I guess I'm not as socially conscious as you.

    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Aside from the obvious concerns; this sounds like a great tech that could allow ....

      shit everything I can think of is evil..


      BTW name one "evil" thing this technology allows, which isn't allowed in theory by the 3G phones.
      • BTW name one "evil" thing this technology allows, which isn't allowed in theory by the 3G phones.
        Justifying all those nasty fingerprints on the display. :-)
    • Please think of the children? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA07Tw4iEFw [youtube.com] (skip to 3:16)
  • I recall a ID-10T report about a user holding up a document to the screen so the "Techie" could see it on-line or something to that effect. Sounds like that story will become anachronistic .
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Unique2 (325687) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:32PM (#20454941)
    How do I see the screen to click the 'Scan' button when I've got the document in front of it?
    • by phulegart (997083)
      the screen could be wider than a standard piece of paper

      the scan could be on a delay, where you hit your button, wait 5 ticks, and scan

      the scan could be initiated by covering the screen with the paper (indicating to the scanning program that you have placed the paper in the optimum scanning position)

      you could hit the scan button on your keyboard ... just for a start...
      • by Ajehals (947354)
        Going by current UI design and the generally usability of some applications I wouldn't be surprised if you had to click on one button to start the scan and another to stop it, Oh and removing the page before you stop it would mean you had to start again..
    • by Raideen (975130)
      It brings a new meaning to "can you see what's on my screen?" at the helpdesk.
  • Apple Patent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xirtam_work (560625) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:35PM (#20454967)
    I'm sure I've seen an Apple Inc. patent for a device that does this. It might even have been posted here on Slashdot.

    Hopefully these sensors only work up close like a scanner, rather than like a webcam.
  • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:37PM (#20455015)
    ...will no longer be ridiculed for using whiteout on the screen?
    • Nope. That's very much a part of the popular lexicon, just like "blondes have more fun." You're stuck with it.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Well, that's just because all of you brunettes haven't figured out just how much fun it is to paint a monitor with whiteout. Pfft... And they call us dumb...
  • monkey (Score:5, Funny)

    by Inmatarian (814090) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:39PM (#20455039)
    This reminds me of that old 1995 email joke about having a scanner in your screen, and you could hold your face up to it and it would take your picture. Of course, all it did was load a picture of a monkey and said this was you.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      load a picture of a monkey and said this was you

      I hear the president is very pleased with his picture.
    • by Durkheim (960021)
      I remember that one, was submitted to me by a friend. Then i forwarded it to my father.
      God, please forgive me.
    • by epp_b (944299)

      Of course, all it did was load a picture of a monkey and said this was you.
      Which, to say, is probably pretty accurate if you actually believed such a thing.
    • by l0cust (992700)
      Uh.. monkey? I am really sorry dude.

      I did hear about someone got his dreams of marrying Natalie Portman crash and burn after he saw the developed photograph [laughingsquid.com], one person [typepad.com] joined the new weighloss reality show as a result of that joke email and atleast one incident [homestead.com] from the era of Black&White monitors where someone threatened to kill the person who started that stupid joke after facing serious identity crtisis as a result of the picture produced by that wonderful embedded camera.

      Its ok. We are here f
  • by davidc (91400) <davidc&ccmi,salk,edu> on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:43PM (#20455093)
    All you need is the right software to access it. Fortunately, there are several websites out there that allow you to do this - e.g. amazingcamera.com [amazingcamera.com]
    • Wow, it wasn't a goatse!?!

      I was already looking away before following the link. When the "stare into the red dot" message came up, I donned arc welding goggles, backed up 5 meters and clicked next with a 16-foot pole.
    • That is so 1990s... :-)
  • So now there can be a transcript of what you look at that is matched up with who was looking at it with a picture of the face overlayed on the screen for BigBrother to use as he wishes. Once again, all technology advances are really sharp double-edged swords.
    The more tech I use the better I like writing in the sand on a beach...
  • So not only are people going to be ENCOURAGED to constantly touch and smudge my screen, but I'll have to worry about reformatting my hard drive when I take a cleaning cloth to it...
  • Is this even new technology? a 3.5" screen with optical sensors so that you can multitouch it to your hearts content. Isn't that what an iPhone is anyway? Sure the screen may stare into your soul and big brother will be able to keep tabs on you, provided your incriminating evidence is lying on the screen.
  • ... if this were combined with an 2nd generation iPhone and Delicious Library [delicious-monster.com]. It'd be like a handheld barcode scanner to catalog all your stuff. Oh wait, still no SDK.
  • This scanning screen reminds me of Apple's old conceptual project "Knowledge Navigator." In one scene of the video, a man is learning to read with the assistance of the device, he takes a newspaper article and wipes it across the screen. The computer scans it and gives him a reading lesson from the scanned article.

    The Knowledge Navigator project was 20 years ago. Many of the ideas in the video have already become reality, this scanning screen might be the next one.
    • by shmlco (594907)
      Heck, nearly every spy movie or TV show made in the last few decades has some scene in it where the guy presses his thumb to the computer screen and it scans it. Guess they were just ahead of their time.
  • Future uses include fingerprint authentication
    Awesome, so now if somebody installs a trojan on my PC they won't just be able to steal my bank account passwords and credit card numbers, but they'll be able to get my fingerprints too. Hopefully they can make this screen able to scan documents too, then I could help out identity thieves some more and send them a copy of my birth certificate, drivers license and passport as well.
  • "The optical sensor is similar to that used in scanners, allowing for notes or business cards to be scanned by the screen itself. "

    Darn, I guess Penn & Teller's Vidi-Kopy [wikipedia.org] gag can't be considered fiction anymore.
  • by exploder (196936) on Monday September 03, 2007 @06:31PM (#20457391) Homepage
    So there's the guy who thought his cd-rom tray was a cup holder, the lady who thought the mouse was a foot pedal, and the guy who thought you could fax a document by holding it up to the screen.

    That last guy should have patented it!
  • In the Harrison Ford movie Air Force One [imdb.com], the security people had a laptop which scanned fingerprints on its screen: http://perso.orange.fr/fingerchip/biometrics/movie s_1997.htm [orange.fr] I had a laugh about it at the time ... oh well.
  • Sharp has developed a LCD display with optical sensors built into the displays pixels,

    Yes! I've been asking for that exact feature since I got my first notebook PC in 1997.

    without requiring a touch-sensitive film to be bonded on top of the regular screen

    NO! I've been asking for that exact feature, a touchscreen scanner, since I got my first notebook PC in 1997.

    Add the touchscreen.

    And, since I've been asking for it since I got my first notebook PC in 1997, please include a "shape memory" [wikipedia.org] layer that physicall

  • Anyone remember the handheld pda/phone from that short-lived Earth: Final Conflict TV series? I always envied those handhelds, with the built in camera, videophone, computing/storage unit, color rollup screens and contact scanner.

    Ten years later, we've got the camera, the phone, and the storage/computing unit as everyone's personal computing device. Now all we need to do is to integrate the rollup screens and this new invention... and of course, move everyone to Vancouver.
  • From TFA: "Also, the scanner function can be used to scan in a business card placed on top of the screen, ..."
    Frankly, what for ?
    Have you ever received a business card with words: "Have a look, but I need it back !" ???
    • From TFA: "Also, the scanner function can be used to scan in a business card placed on top of the screen, ..."
      Frankly, what for ?
      Have you ever received a business card with words: "Have a look, but I need it back !" ???

      Nope. But I have had to carry a pile of cards home from a trade show. I've also lost business cards, having them on my computer somewhere would have been convenient. I've also passed on business cards to other people. A digital version would have made that easier. Etc.

      Plenty of reasons w

      • by s0m3body (659892)
        Ok, that's obviously a question of personal preferences, but I can much easier handle 100 business cards (real) then 100 JPEGs somewhere on my microSD card which is plugged in somewhere in my mobile phone (God knows where the bugger is ! I tried !).
        At least, it is much faster to throw away the 90 useless ones.
        The day after the big trade show party, once I get sober enough to realize which are those.
  • New way to discreetly Photo-Copy Ass.
  • by maokh (781515) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:31AM (#20460745)
    All LEDs inversely function as light detectors, even while emitting light. All that is really needed is a display controller that is designed to detect this reverse current flow. It would be interesting to see such an application. The only thing I have seen so far is a traditional LED matrix that works like a touch screen to turn each individual LED on and off.

    Don't believe me? Here is a primer:

    http://mvh.sr.unh.edu/mvhinvestigations/light_inve stigations.htm [unh.edu]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    LED do that without sensors so OLED might do it as well.
    It is known that the electric resistence of a LED is lower when it is lit up externally so if you put something bright near it, the resistence lowers because it receives its own light back. I wonder if it works for organic leds too, so if you can sense the resistence of every pixel on a OLED display you can know if there is something bright in front of each pixel. The image would be B/W I guess but I think it must be cheap and enough sensitive to make
  • You know, with enough R&D, these screens could send back to central control an image of the livingroom audience watching the show. And AC Neilsen might find it quite useful to see you watching the TV shows you say you are watching, which is most likely different from the reponses to the survey you sent in.

    Now, if TV central can watch the audience, imagine a future where all your internet-connected appliance display screens keep an eye on you as well.

    I predict there will be a run on funny-nose glasses if

You might have mail.

Working...