Monthly Archives: March 2006

SED displays on the way

Longtime readers (assuming there are any!) may recall a story last May about a new type of flatpanel CRT using nanotubes. The demo back then was impressive from a technology viewpoint, if not something you might actually want to sit down and watch.

Well, time has marched on and these products are almost ready for market. They are now known as Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Displays; somehow, I think SEDs will turn out to be the more popular term.

At CES, Toshiba unveiled some 37″ HDTV prototypes with a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 (yes, that’s quite good!). They hope to have 55″ production models towards the end of the year. Response time is on the order of 1 ms. Another description can be found here.

And here’s a particularly enthusiastic first-hand review from one of the CES attendees, complete with photo:

Screenshot of Canon/Toshiba SED prototype

Roll on Autumn…

Chalk drawing

Not everything needs to be about bits and bytes. I recently came across a guy called Julian Beever who does absolutely incredible pavement drawings. Here’s a sample (used without permission … sorry):

Push the boat out - Julian Sheever

You can see some more examples of his work here

Multi-touch interaction experiments

Okay, so no sign of that Networking History video reappearing on Google Video.

Here’s something else instead: a video showing Multi-Touch Interaction Research.

I particularly like the application for sorting photos; very nice the way photos can be zoomed and shrunk with a simple finger gesture.

There isn’t much information about the type of screen used, but it seems it can handle multiple finger presses simultaneously – I think this is vital for moving such interfaces to the level where they can be genuinely useful (rather than just convenient, as with touchscreen kiosks).

SQL Designer has a demo of a SQL Designer written purely in Javascript (or, more likely, AJAX – Asynchronous Javascript And XML). Whatever, it’s very impressive!

Google Suggests

I hadn’t been paying much attention to this AJAX thing, until I saw an article about it in Dr Dobbs Journal (Feb 2006).

AJAX is Asynchronous Javascript And XML, essentially a collective name for a group of technologies that together allow web pages to asynchronously interact with a remote server without losing the page context. This leads to the ability to design significantly more interactive interfaces.

The best example I’ve seen is the one cited in the Dr Dobbs article: Google Suggests. As you type in search keywords, a realtime display appears below showing you suggested matches for what you’re typing. All the words retrieved are fetched from Google’s server in realtime as you type, without you even noticing. Very cool…