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Trying Out Canon’s Mixed-Reality Tech

Meant for design work, it goes well beyond consumer-oriented augmented reality

4 min read
Woman viewing through Canon's mixed reality system.
Is this a Jaguar I see before me? The author checks out a computer generated car through Canon's mixed reality system.
Photo: John Boyd

26 July 2012—Canon begins selling a next-generation form of virtual reality technology known as mixed reality (MR) this month. The company suggests its version of MR is an enhanced, more grown-up version of the augmented reality provided by some smartphone apps and things like Google’s Project Glass. In contrast to augmented reality, which typically adds text or simple graphics to what the user sees, Canon’s MR adds computer-generated virtual objects to the real world in real time, at full scale, and in three dimensions.

In a further contrast to consumer-oriented augmented-reality schemes, the technology is initially targeted at engineering groups involved in designing and building new products. Canon claims that not only will it cut down on prototyping, it will also speed up concurrent engineering by allowing those involved on the manufacturing side to get a faster look at what is coming down the new-product pipeline.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Sony
Blue
Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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