updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon September 3, 2012
May help with better visibility in sunlight
One flaw present in the iPad and most other tablets is the difficulty seeing the screen as clearly in bright sunlight. While there are several workarounds (users can find a shady area, or block the sun with their own shadow among other options), the issue is most acute when trying to read or play a game outdoors. A new technology from Apical aims to help with the issue, and was recently shown on an iPad in a demo that avoids the battery-draining "fix" of simply cranking up the brightness.
On top of not really solving the issue, turning the screen up to full brightness to combat the sunlight wastes battery and increases heat output. The idea behind the "Assertive Display" technology expands on the auto-brightness sensor already found in iPads to leverage a more intelligent digital processing algorithm that "adjusts each pixel in the display individually in real time," resulting in a better result in sunlight than was achievable before, reports 9to5Mac.
In the video demonstration (seen below) at IFA, Apical's Phil Rogers shows a dramatic difference between Assertive Display technology and the lack of it on an iPad under sunlight conditions. As he explains the nature of the technology, movies, TV shows and games are shown as being too dark to really see detail on a full-brightness un-assisted screen, versus a screen with the technology that is set at half-brightness, resulting in up to a 50 percent savings in power consumption as well as providing a better picture.
The technology is already present in some mobile devices and HDTVs, but doing the pitch using an iPad was sure to attract the attention of Apple (which was not officially present at the conference) and could lead to increased industry interest in the technology as a competitive selling point. By automatically adjusting both the brightness and the color level of each pixel using the GPU, the company appears to offer a solution that is unique in the industry right now. It remains to be seen if Apple or one of its competitors will move to license the technology. [via 9to5Mac]