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Projection Monitor

The other flat screen
  [vote for,

In the center of your desk there is a small hole, with a small device sticking through. This device is actually a mirrored lens that takes the image from a video projector mounted under your desk facing towards you, and reflects it's image onto the wall of your cubicle. Your cubicle wall has a nice white screen on it for this purpose.

Projectors are pricey right now, but there's no reason they need to be. This product will allow as large of a monitor as you'd like. It also locates your monitor as far away from your face as your cubicle allows, which is better for your eyes.

Worldgineer, Oct 07 2004

F-Theta lenses and hemispherical screens http://electronics....ks.com/elumens2.htm
From "How Stuff Works." [bristolz, Oct 08 2004]


       In my opinion, clarity issues prevent this from being very practical right now. I've played with all manner of projectors as a primary computer monitor, even high-end 3 DLP Barcos and the like, and none of them have sufficient clarity to really work with as a primary monitor--even with very short throws. The hardware engineers I've talked about this to think that the optical path just isn't good enough and that one that was would be absurdly expensive.
bristolz, Oct 07 2004

       Interesting. By optical path are you talking about the quality of the lens? Or the air beween the projector and the screen? Or some sort of interference that might be solved by a cylindrical section screen (which was another option I was considering)?
Worldgineer, Oct 07 2004

       Primarily the lenses but also whatever else the light passes through that is part of the projector, probably not the air, though. Consider how expensive prime lenses for cameras are, especially those that are aspherical or made of flourite glass or whatever, and then multiply that by 2 or 3 and you'll be approaching the cost of a lens for a projector that is good enough to render fine detail at short throw distances. The first elements in lenses like that are enormous as they are nearly a fisheye lens in design.   

       That said, remember these are just my thoughts based on a little experience and not the opinion of someone who actually knows what they're talking about.
bristolz, Oct 08 2004

       Take no notice of that last line... [bris] _always_ knows what she's talking about :p   

       If the projector's inside your desk, I suppose you could increase the length of the throw by using mirrors to stretch the light path. This has two disadvantages: 1) that little hole in the desk would get a lot bigger, and 2) any imperfections in the mirrors would degrade the image.   

       Again though, I really don't know what I'm talking about, but as a mechanical engineer am qualified to talk crap on any subject I choose...
david_scothern, Oct 08 2004

       [bris], Then my cylindrical section - no, wait - my spherical section screen might just help. I speculate that much of the lens design issues involve taking an image and making it sharply focused across a different focal plane. What I mean is that every point on a flat screen is a different distance from the lens - you then have to create a funky shaped lens to make this happen*. If you remove that constraint then all lenses required should be of nice spherical section shapes* that are easy to manufacture*. Ok, sure having a spherical section screen could be a bit bulky, but the futuristic look would make up for it.   

       *I'm beyond my knowledge base here, but see [dsouth] for my qualifications. (btw: Are we all ME's here (in this idea)? [bz] - I've always assumed you're an ME based on her vast knowledge of all things mechanical, but then again you seems to have vast knowledge of all things.)
Worldgineer, Oct 08 2004

       No, I'm not an ME or any degree.
bristolz, Oct 08 2004

       Funny, I've often been jealous of whatever education you must have had.   

       Great link by the way. Shame it costs so much - I bet that price is only because of the limited demand of such a product. I think they're missing their desktop potential.
Worldgineer, Oct 08 2004


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