Product: Television: 3D
TV in Relief   (+6, -1)  [vote for, against]
Pictures that almost jump out at you.

Who hasn't seen those beds of nails that you stick your hand underneath and press up on, allowing you to gawk in amazement at the splendid replica of your hand that appears? I have seen such beds of nails outfitted with electromagnets so that the relief image can be electronically designed and then automatically enacted upon.

Now combine this with fiber optics: standard fiber optic tubes are outfitted around the base with metal rings so that electromagnets can move them forward and backward, inward and outward from a screen. Instead of standard RGB CRT pixels, each pixel is a fiber-optic tube that can be arranged to create a three-dimensional image that moves naturally. Using existing technology, this would probably be ugly, but I can see the quality getting better in a few years. The end result would be a television picture that has the actual capability to represent depths onscreen.
-- polartomato, Aug 12 2002

Wooden Mirror http://fargo.itp.ts.../~danny/mirror.html
The art [mind-bender] remembered. (The halfbakery has linked to this before.) It works not really as a relief but by reflecting more or less light from the blocks, depending on their rotation. [jutta, Aug 13 2002]

Bas relief, I think, or you wouldn't be able to get the pins to move fast enough.
-- DrCurry, Aug 13 2002

Not necessarily, DrCurry, for two reasons: first of all, the image would have to change, but it wouldn't have to change very much to simulate motion. Secondly, I have seen that if the pins are slim and light enough, they will move at a very rapid rate. I will try to provide a link- the ones I saw were responsive enough to move up and down about three or four inches, and they moved with the beat of dance music. I am talking about having very small magnetic contacts attached to lightweight fiber optic tubes.

That said, I think Bas Relief electronic pictures may just be the wave of the near future... maybe.
-- polartomato, Aug 13 2002

The porno sites would love these monitors, and skiers and mountain climbers.
-- FarmerJohn, Aug 13 2002

*Close-captioned in Braille for the sight-impaired.
-- RayfordSteele, Aug 13 2002

UB/Farmer: Both porno sites and children's programming alike could indeed benefit from a 3D (touch sensitive?) screen... that does sound awful, doesn't it?

m-b and jutta: I like the wooden mirror; It's sort of what I'm thinking about... only not... many thanks for the link.

I was ready to let this idea fall down to the bottom of the heap, but Rayford's annotation makes me wonder if there might be a market for "Touch TV" where the screen is feelable, rather than viewable, for the benefit of the blind, complete with braille subtitles. And meanwhile, everyone else could enjoy fiber optic 3D TV. The only problems would be blocking the screen, and keeping the oil from hands from damaging the picture.

And finally, I think my idea would make for some rockin' globes and maps. And neon signs for casinos and the like. And video games too, especially if the screen were made in more of a tabletop configuration. Virtual foosball... hmm.
-- polartomato, Aug 14 2002

How about a microchip remote control that could be planted under the foreskin so that one could surf channels and jerk off at the same time?

Bitter? Me? A TV widow? Me? Surely you jest.
-- banshee, Aug 17 2002

So let me see - you want an array of several thousand rods capable of moving to a new position in 1/ 25th of a second (1/30th for NTSC). Have you considered how much noise this is going to make?

But have a croissant anyway, because I think it would look cool, and is probably buildable. A backyard tinkerer could probably come up with something useable for a proof of concept.
-- BunsenHoneydew, Mar 17 2004

Yes, and I want it powered by hydraulics, for maximum noise and dripping oil.
-- normzone, Mar 17 2004

random, halfbakery