Microsoft Research shapes future of HD displays

Jul 31, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) -- Microsoft Research is getting into the burgeoning game of modular display walls—cutting a path to a wallpaper of the future, where walls themselves serve as modular displays. Engineers on the project had set themselves a goal of wanting to build a system to research the problem of trying to fix displays to scale “large.” The operative word on the Microsoft project is scalability—the display system built at its lab in Washington is meeting the team’s goal. The technology project at Microsoft Research is called 'vX'.

engineers’ 15 flatscreen displays that make up the system all have their own special set of electronics. None needs its own graphics card or a computer. They are all controlled by one PC. The system stays modular, said one engineer, and the is kept as flat as can be.

By reducing each display to a small set of electronics, there is consumer viability as part of the team’s vision, where a customer can some day in the future pick up a big roll of “display” at the hardware store as one would pick up a roll of wallpaper today. And if they tire of the way the display looks, they can just reprogram it. “That's what the future of displays is going to turn into,” said Tom Blank, the Microsoft Research engineering manager in charge of the vX project.

While giant HD displays exist today, they usually involve multiple displays working in tandem with one another, each controlled by an individual computer. That impacts price, as they call for a lot of electronics. The 2,160-inch HD screen at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, cost $40 million. "What we're really interested in is a future where this is just wallpaper, and we can cover anything -- where this circuit here is incorporated into your wallpaper," according to the video demo.

The Microsoft team’s system is designed to scale up to a 1,300-inch display. Another key feature of the technology is vX's superior resolution. Microsoft's vX display has 72 million pixels at 100 dots per inch. If one walks up next to the screen, images can still be seen clearly.

Microsoft Research, meanwhile, is continuing its work on further scaling up its display system. The next step is to add more screens, to get to 24—and beyond.

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More information: via CNN

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User comments : 4

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COCO
1 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2012
this product remains a going concern and is available from a company in Kitchener Canada - Christie Digital whose digital tiles are becoming ubiquitious.
SatanLover
1 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2012
microsoft is going down the drain. old fart company.
n0ns3ns0r
1 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2012
There's nothing new here. My monitor has 100 dpi. What's the point of a screen that big? 1080p isn't going away anytime soon. And at 1,300 inches, you are talking maybe 1 or 2 pixels per inch... compared to say a Dell u3011 30 inch monitor running 2560x1600 @ 100 pixels per inch.

Broadband networks wouldn't be able to handle the increased traffic associated with larger resolutions. Doubling the dimensions means you quadruple the data. Resolutions with comparable pixels per inch would require file sizes 10,000 times larger than Bluray. I don't think we'll be seeing 250 terabyte video streams anytime soon.

thematrix606
1 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2012
There's nothing new here. My monitor has 100 dpi. What's the point of a screen that big? 1080p isn't going away anytime soon. And at 1,300 inches, you are talking maybe 1 or 2 pixels per inch... compared to say a Dell u3011 30 inch monitor running 2560x1600 @ 100 pixels per inch.


It's called rescaling, and encoding.


Broadband networks wouldn't be able to handle the increased traffic associated with larger resolutions. Doubling the dimensions means you quadruple the data. Resolutions with comparable pixels per inch would require file sizes 10,000 times larger than Bluray. I don't think we'll be seeing 250 terabyte video streams anytime soon.


In 15 years, we've gone from 5Kb/s to 10000Kb/s via a normal cable wire. Just a side note ;)

It's always sooner than you think.