Low-Res Screens Can Transform Into Better-Looking Hi-Res Displays With Vibration

This is fantastic news for anyone who's ever wanted a device with a high-res display but can't afford fancy hardware like the iPhone or iPad. Floraine Berthouzoz and Raanan Fattal, a couple of graphics researchers, have found a way to make crappy low-res displays show high-res imagery.

And the secret is to simply vibrate them.

OK, so there's a lot more to it than that, but the clever discovery basically takes advantage of the way our eyes will blend multiple moving images together. To display a high-res image on a screen with significantly less resolution, the image is first broken down into several smaller images matching the display's native res. These images are then flashed in quick succession while the screen is rapidly but subtlety vibrated. Not enough vibration that the viewer gets dizzy, but enough motion so that the multiple images are never displayed in exactly the same position.

When the viewer's mind automatically blends all of the images together, they end up seeing an image that has considerably more resolution and detail than the display is capable of showing. So one day all smartphone screens might be just as capable as the iPhone without actually requiring that fancy retina display. [Floraine Berthouzoz]


Comments

    Isn't this very simular to the way TI's DLP screens work?

    I assume this could be done without physical vibration in future screens.. moving the image slightly with each frame displayed..

      I can't imagine that wouldn't work as each pixel would be displayed over the top of each other. By vibrating you effectively put pixels next to each other

    WTF? "So one day all smartphone screens might be just as capable as the iPhone without actually requiring that fancy retina display." Is this still 2010? Did I slip and fall back in time and no one told me?

      Yes, and Diablo 3 is still 2 years away!

    So, it's like interlacing, but created by mechanical movement.

    Didn't we say interlacing was bad for your eyes 20 years ago?!

    Unless the images were oscillating between 2 or more (different) images of the exact same scene (perhaps with slightly different lighting / tone balance etc), I fail to see how this is higher resolution, or how you see more detail. Yes, you are creating multiple images which your eyes see and the brain maps together , and essentially tricks you into seeing something that isn't really there, but the image you are seeing is no higher in resolution than the original.

    Interesting work, but I fail to see how this would be viable with the like of LG's offering being developed. http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/05/lgs-5-inch-phone-display-is-full-hd-and-all-kinds-of-insane/

    Now, does this mean that existing devices with hi res can take it further when this technique is applied?
    The new iPad, iPhone 4 etc ?

    High res screen like the iPhone or iPad. Excuse me but Apple isn't the only products with hi res screens. My Galaxy Note's screen is higher res than the new iPad, so is the gs3 and a few others or there. The days of saying that Apple has the greatest res screens is well and truly over. Please curb your bias ways.

      indeed Samsung is the one that makes all the iPad screens...

    DLP is completely different... It has thousands of teeny tiny mirrors that rotate.

      Natalie,
      I am not talking about the why the image is displayed, but the way that DLP is only half the resolution of the final display. Using the vibration to increase the pixel count.

    I'm assuming this might be useful in creating lower powered devices with better resolution. Correct me if i'm wrong but the new iPad had to have a bigger battery due to it's hi-res display among other things.
    So, if they manage to do this, preferably without physical vibration but simply pixel-by-pixel changes instead. This could allow people to have clearer screens with longer battery life.

    [This is all apart from the fact that I personally don't have any need for screens better than the original iPhone which I still think is more than adequate for everyday use]

    holy cow!!! hellooooo projector patents, these guys would make a mint selling '4K' vibro projectors

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