updated 06:20 pm EDT, Fri June 1, 2012
Researchers use retinal latency to boost low-resolution screen
Researchers have found a way to increase the resolution of a display beyond its normal capabilities, thanks to the inherent latency of the brain's visual processing. Floraine Berthouzoz and Raqanan Fattal, graphics researchers, found that by vibrating the screen and quickly showing four lower-resolution images of a larger-resolution photograph, the viewer's brain can combine the images and see something close to the original photo.
A demonstration video shows a monitor mounted horizontally on a table, with a motor and an off-center weight attached. The motor is sped up to 1,800 RPM and vibrates the screen. A separate system generates four different images based on a master, with each duplicate matching the resolution of the screen. When the screen is vibrating enough, all four images are repeatedly shown in a high-speed slideshow. The time each image is visible for is smaller than the retinal integration time, so all four images are registered at the same time and the brain can piece it all together and perceive it as a single high-resolution image.
Although the technique does show potential in increasing resolution without massively altering display technology, the fact that it relies on vibration means it will be unlikely to appear on mobile phone screens anytime soon. [via Gizmodo]