Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

'Retina Display' SFnally Perfect (Almost)

Apple's new retina display is certainly the highest resolution cell phone display evar. But is it really so perfect that the human retina is unable to distinguish pixels - that is, is it as good as reality?

Keep in mind that many science fiction writers need this level of display in order to present what are now called 'virtual realities' that are indistinguishable from the real world. Ray Bradbury's Veldt from The Illustrated Man and the Saga adventures from Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 novel The City and the Stars and the Star Trek: TNG holodeck require a display that is as good as reality.

Here's how Apple sets forth their argument:

... the Retina display’s pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels.

By developing pixels a mere 78 micrometers wide, Apple engineers were able to pack four times the number of pixels into the same 3.5-inch (diagonal) screen found on earlier iPhone models. The resulting pixel density of iPhone 4 — 326 pixels per inch — makes text and graphics look smooth and continuous at any size.

Here's what the docs at MedGadget have to say:

The maximum spatial resolution (ability to differentiate two points) of the human eye occurs at the center of the visual field, corresponding to the fovea of the retina. At the fovea, the cone cells (there are no rods in the fovea) are jammed up close together at the highest density of the retina. Knowing this we can calculate the smallest pixels the fovea should be able to differentiate, but it takes a couple assumptions that we will lay out. The reader is encouraged to re-calculate the following based on their affinity for Apple.

1) Assuming 20/20 vision with bright lights and adequate contrast, the fovea has the ability to differentiate points around 1 arc-minute apart.

2) Assuming the user holds the phone at 1 foot (0.305 m) from their eyes, 1 arc-minute corresponds to 89 micrometers.

3) Apple's claim of 78 micrometers is smaller than 89 micrometers, however 2 points are needed to differentiate, so that is 78 x 2 = 156 micrometers, which is not.

Also, depending on the literature, there are claims the fovea can determine points 0.5 arc-minute apart, which is 44 micrometers. Regardless, it is close, and the user is unlikely to always be in perfect light or always using foveal vision and resolution drops off pretty dramatically a very short distance along the retina from the fovea.

From Apple, MedGadget and take a look at this very cool page on visual acuity.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/9/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Display ")

Transparent MicroLED Screen From Samsung
Has Samsung nailed the Look of Things To Come?

Augmented Reality Book Covers Reveal The Inner Book
'The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers...' - Greg Bear, 2003.

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.' - EC Tubb, 1958.

Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.' - Roger Zelazny, 1981.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message
'...a universal cryptogram — yet it is one which can be interpreted by any intelligent creature on any planet in the Solar System!'

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.'

AI Enhances Images Your Brain Sees
'I could have sworn the psychomat showed pictures almost as sharp and detailed as reality itself'

Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
'Stasis, cold sleep, hibernation, hypothermia, reduced metabolism, call it what you will - the logistics-medicine research teams had found a way to stack people like cordwood and use them when needed.'

Deflector Plasma Screen For Drones ala Star Wars
'If the enemy persists in attacking or even intensifies their power, the density of the plasma in space will suddenly increase, causing it to reflect most of the incoming energy like a mirror.'

DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
'I made them... with the fine work of the watchmaker...'

Cheap Drunk Driver Detection From UofM
"Look, I can drive... Start, darn it!"

Can A Human Land A SpaceX Rocket On Its Tail?
'If she starts to roll sideways — blooey! The underjets only hold you up when they’re pointing down, you know.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.