Holographic Displays Coming to Smartphones?
Jul22

Holographic Displays Coming to Smartphones?

Stereoscopic 3-D images can give many individuals an unnecessary headache. To look at images such as these, it takes extreme mental effort. When you focus on objects in your everyday life, your brain focuses on the same point that your eyes converge. With images such as stereoscopic 3-D images, each of your eyes is presented with a different image, and you have to focus on the screen where the image is supposed to be. Holograms are able to avoid the headache prompting images by producing light right in the spot where your eyes focus: The light goes through the specific point and hits your eyes in the same manner that it would if the object was a physical object. Holograms also have the advantage of being able to work from many different angles and do not require a pair of glasses to see them. Until recent times, holograms required huge projectors and screens or a particular angle for viewing, but Ostendo Technologies and Hewlett-Packard’s spin-off company Leia, have big plans of placing these types of images right in your palm of your hand and fitting in your pocket within a couple years. Many pixels need to be placed in a small space to be able to create this type of image, and the geometry of creating the  images is a difficult task. Having microlenses manufactured to place in front of the light-field display pixels is also problematic because the positions and shapes have to be in the right angle to have the beams at the correct angle. Ostendo’s 3-D images use 1 million little pixels on a chip that consist of Red, Green, and Blue layers of micro-LEDs that sit on top of an image processor that is made of silicon. The pixels are typically in the range of 5 to 10 micrometers on a side. By using the individual pixel layers, each pixel is able to send any color of light out that is focused in a thin beam. Many vertical waveguides deliver the light out from the layers and send it in the right direction. An image processor under each pixel allows for power to be saved and the overall computational load to be lightened. Leia is creating a 3-D image by placing a grid of gratings just behind an everyday LCD screen. The gratings direct the light below them in different directions which creates up to 64 viewing angles for a 3-D video or image. The ultimate goal is to create a system that would be easy to integrate with already existing screens or displays that are transparent. The first commercial product is scheduled to be...

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Prototyped…. to Death?
Jul14

Prototyped…. to Death?

In early 2013, Arkami revealed a really cool concept for password management. A USB/Bluetooth device that would store encrypted keywords and be accessible by either plugging it into a computer or connecting to a smart phone using an app. They showed it at CES and ran a Kickstarter campaign, which raised almost half a million dollars. They added another three million in funding from investors. The myIDkey had a promising future. Broken Promises Investors were promised the product would be ready in September. That didn’t happen. Instead of delivering the device as promised, components were upgraded, software revised and features were added and/or changed. Many of the changes were to help deliver the promised features on schedule, but they seemed to have the opposite effect, with more delays and very few myIDkey’s delivered to Kickstarter backers. Broken Features Arkami didn’t’ sit still while postponing release. New features – like using the fingerprint reader as a scrollbar – were added while investors waited for a shipping product. A few of the devices were shipped, and the reaction was not good. The few who received their myIDkey complained that devices were broken out of the box, or broke after very little use. According to complaints, buttons stopped working and the fingerprint scanner was hard to calibrate. On June 17, 2014, the company closed down due to lack of funds. Release or Wait Should Arkami have released the myIDkey on time with fewer features? Would getting the product into people’ hands sooner and adding features later have been wiser? Would producing the product as originally pitched have provided some breathing room and time for developing advanced features? The CEO claims there will be a big announcement soon, but wouldn’t it have been better to have used the $150,000 originally sought to produce the product and keep all the extra funds for R&D and reserves? The saga of myIDkey raises many questions, but so far provides very few...

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3D Scanners Will Impact Development and Prototyping
Jul02

3D Scanners Will Impact Development and Prototyping

If you’re a product developer or if your business is in the stages of prototyping, then there’s some good news for you in the world of 3D modeling. New Low Cost Of 3D Scanners 3D scanners are not only becoming less and less expensive, but they are also becoming more and more user-friendly. A 3D scanner is a technical instrument that is able to digitally analyze either an object or its surroundings; that digitized information is then transferred to a computer where the object or environment is rendered into a 3D model. Newer 3D scanners are able to be easily integrated with most types of computers and tablets, making quick imaging technology available for everyone. Quicker 3D Modeling and Prototyping To render a 3D object without the use of a 3D scanner would call for it to be painstakingly developed using CAD (computer aided design) software. However, 3D scanners have opened up the world of product development, prototyping, and 3D design in general. Modern 3D scanners have drastically reducing the amount of time and effort it would take to manually design an object in 3D for production. In addition, this quick imaging technology means that prototyping on a 3D printer just became much quicker. Saving Time Means Saving Money The time-saving benefits of 3D scanners are only one part of the equation. By utilizing quicker 3D modeling you are then able to increase your rate of production. This case is also more economic for an individual or business prototyping on a 3D printer. Rather than having to outsource the modeling and printing of your prototype at an inflated cost, businesses can now render and 3D print prototypes themselves at a much more economical...

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