Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 10th Oct 2011 19:55 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Within the last few days we read the news about Apple's Siri AI personal assistant, and about a brain implant that lets monkeys control virtual limps & feel virtual objects. I believe that if someone is to also combine a few more technologies (e.g. high-res eyeware, appropriate operating system changes), we will be looking at the next user interface revolution, after the inventions of the computer mouse and touch interfaces.
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Not holography
by zima on Mon 10th Oct 2011 22:00 UTC
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There are two ways to deal with the problem. One, is holographic projected displays. Unfortunately, we’re far away technologically from something like it, and no one really wants to see your huge display in the middle of the street, while you're trying to get directions

Cheap scifi film effects unfortunately totally hijacked the meaning of the word "holographic" over the decades, so the public imagines ...roughly this "huge display in the middle of the street" or, generally, what really seems more like a volumetric display (usually while projecting somebody in "scifi videoconferencing")

But that is NOT holography; the word has very specific meaning. And, sadly, people don't even realize how impressive real, already actually existing holograms feel (one rapidly found example another nice one ), basically for a few decades already; people seem to not realize about them to the point of doubting what they see on such videos, thinking it's just a trick (no, it's not... they feel awesome when held, the light actually really behaving like the plate has some "inside")

Yes, static so far, also with poor colour gamut and such. Good holographic video display will require effective size of pixels comparable to the wavelength of light, plus processing and memory we're nowhere near yet.
But once we're there... a display will feel kinda like a window or mirror (bonus: at that point, we probably won't have to endure any more the efforts, every 2 decades or so despite numerous failures, to push on us the cheap and inherently flawed trick of stereography)

All this essentially being an example of the unfortunate effects of "scifi cargo cultism" that I sometimes point out - fluffy fantasies displacing, masking, causing the people to miss the wild possibilities in actually existing universe.

Edited 2011-10-10 22:07 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not holography
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 10th Oct 2011 22:12 in reply to "Not holography"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

I want one of those. Holy crap that was amazing.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Not holography
by zima on Mon 10th Oct 2011 22:24 in reply to "RE: Not holography"
zima Member since:

See, what I was saying ;) - even technology enthusiasts, and such, not realizing about this fairly old[1] stuff (easily older than you, Thom) what hope there is for the general public, whose "imagination" is shaped by cheap popular scifi productions?

1. Old in terms of recent technology progress; the implementation I randomly found on YT not really being so ground-breaking as they claim, it mostly "just" seems to revolve around being a decently marketable product. Any self-respecting physics department probably has some holograms, and there are a few ~commercial labs around the world that make them (contact one, Thom? Maybe they'll even have some defectively developed one - which could just look weird in part of the "image" or under certain viewing angles - but probably still impressive, clearly with depth[2])

2. Yes, in holograms that is essentially a real depth, they are about reproducing how the light would really behave if the plate had some insides.

Edited 2011-10-10 22:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not holography
by zima on Tue 11th Oct 2011 10:16 in reply to "RE: Not holography"
zima Member since:

PS. BTW, you can easily do a basic, but still fun imitation of sorts (one which relies more on psycho-visual effects in how our brains are wired to see ~faces than on actual scattering of light in a "proper" way), if you have a printer! ;)

Hollow-face illusion & three dragons to print out

Actually, inspired by how one preschool-theatre costume (of a... cat; with proper ears) supposedly induced a panic attack in the kitten of my buddy, I essentially reworked the dragon once, to be more "danger! Possible unknown big cat!"-like. Yup, my cate became... nervous.

(quick Google search for the above Wiki page even revealed one with a cat design
...I can't vouch for how convincing it is, though)

Bonus points: place a large version in a street-facing window ;)

Then there are also some software toys like this DSi game which, essentially, partly simulate - to one viewer at a time - roughly how a hologram would feel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not holography
by Eugenia on Mon 10th Oct 2011 22:25 in reply to "Not holography"
Eugenia Member since:

A display like this does not change much in the grand scheme of things. It's still a display, that happens to display in a 3D manner. It's an evolution on the current 2D UIs, but not a revolution (especially if someone has to carry lights). Such displays still have a rather large, physical X x Y. They're good to display stuff to a large crowd, but not for personal computing. The point is to eliminate the need for big displays. Most of us already wear eye-glasses. Not using them for anything else is just a waste of resources and lack of ingenuity.

Edited 2011-10-10 22:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Not holography
by zima on Tue 11th Oct 2011 09:50 in reply to "RE: Not holography"
zima Member since:

Main point was - don't call it holographic, don't reinforce such usage, don't waste the "holography" term by using it on some pop-cultural contraptions of, probably, ever dubious practicality. The term is much more specific, and at the same time might very well give something much (figuratively) bigger, nicer, broader than limited visions of directors or visual effects artists would suggest.

But also don't dismiss it so readily. Few points:

Remember, a good proper holographic display, if it also tracks viewers (comparatively trivial, relative to its other advances), could easily display completely different thing to each and every pair of eyes looking at it, that is just its inherent property.
(those constraints of "imposed imagination", ultimately limited one - vs. actually "applied" one, on the basis of how the world, science, etc. are - that I mentioned)

If some promising paths prove fruitful (possibly, say, applications of graphene and their implications), decent holographic displays could as well end up covering almost everything, at least in places with any notable ("valuable"? ;/ ) human concentrations and where they would likely look. And/or they could have the physical form of, essentially, wallpaper.*
Yes, to you (or to me for that matter) that would seem "crazy" and insanely wasteful - but, consider how people living just few short centuries ago would think the very same thing about covering whole facades with something so valuable as glass (especially one so incredibly translucent and smooth!), or aluminium and such.
Heck, "glass houses" were used less than a mere century ago in one locally notable novel ( )
as an idea, symbol representing unrealistic dreams of perfect place. Now look around you perfect place in sight, glass houses everywhere. ;)

And that's only when touching on physical in-setting screens.

Because, see, what you don't realize is that there would be most likely a major technological overlap between such good holographic displays and ...good eye-displays. They are not so separate as they appear, able to use fundamentally similar technology in their quest to be any good.

What present eye-screens seem mostly "good" for - if they don't have optical systems making their size, weight & price not trivial - is giving people headaches.

However: the "substrate" required for good holographic screens basically would be also a perfect optical system (for the wavelengths larger than its "pixels", at least). You could possibly, perhaps, even hack a "wallpaper display" and reconfigure it (via ~firmware!) into something acting as & easily rivalling (being perfect optically) some tediously laboured lenses or mirrors in best telescopes.
That's also something which would be very helpful in good eye-screen (the other approach which seems promising is a direct laser projection on the retina, though possibly with more "schematic" graphics - but that's OK, since it will most likely be practical much sooner)

Generally, unspecific fantasies (how would it work, roughly, while doing it good?) are not ingenuity. Too often they are closer to wishy-washy visions which miss both the issues of what they propose, and many upcoming opportunities in somewhat different approaches.
We don't "waste" glasses for anything (good), not at this point.
(but BTW, I do have a related small & silly pet project on hold / waiting for some basically already "here" technology... but that's all I'm saying now! ;> )

*Best of all, if covering the inside walls, imagine: it could easily seem like every room has great view ;) ;) Also when it doesn't actually have any windows! ;) (say, in some monolithic mega-unit to find housing space for massive overpopulation ;) ). More, each of the occupants could have the view they prefer (as long as all scenes comparable lighting, I imagine; otherwise it would probably often lead to weird mood mix in the room), even "back to nature" - for example, looking like an open tent inside of a forest ;) (yeah, probably more depressing if anything; but perhaps it points to implications of another hypothetical major advancement way further down the line - if we would "augment" our bodies with some forms of technology allowing us to not care about cold, rain, elements overall, what difference do the walls make?)

"especially if someone has to carry lights"?

Reply Parent Score: 2