Skip to Content

Check Out the World’s Smallest 3-D Full HD Display

Ortus Technology recently showed off a prototype of the mind-bogglingly high-res screen.
May 23, 2011

There’s something uncanny about high, high technology in small, small places. But that’s exactly what Ortus Technology, a Japanese firm established in April of 2010 to focus on the small and medium-sized display market, has created. The company recently debuted a prototype of what it bills as the “world’s smallest full HD TFT panel.” (TFT stands for “thin film transistor.”) At 4.8 inches, the screen also features a glasses-free 3D effect.

When in 2D mode, the screen is similar to technology Ortus debuted in the fall of last year. The screen is so densely packed with pixels that, for all intents and purposes, it is “pixel-free.” In other words, with 458 pixels per square inch, that’s so dense that the human eye can’t actually discern one pixel from another, creating a seamless, realistic image. When in 3D mode, the pixel rate drops somewhat, though still remains rather high, 229 pixels per inch.

How does Ortus get the 3D effect, without the use of glasses? It’s relying on a polarizing film called Xpol, which it adheres carefully to the panel. The film enables the panel to “alternately show images for the right and left eye on each line,” according to Ortus. Arisawa Manufacturing, another Japanese company, is behind that technology. This isn’t the first glasses-free 3D experience, of course; the new Nintendo 3DS system famously uses a similar concept to achieve its results. Nintendo actually seems to have taken the user experience into mind more carefully; it employs a 3D slider, rather than an on-off toggle, for varying degrees of the 3D effect. Toshiba, similarly, debuted a glasses-free 3D TV last fall, making those goofy oversized lenses something of an endangered species, these days.

Rounding out the array of Ortus’s more-impressive-than-is-really-necessary specs are its viewing angle (160 degrees, reportedly) and color capabilities (it can render “up to 16.77 million” hues, for those of you with superhumanly high color sensitivity).

An Ortus spokesman in this DigInfo video says that he foresees the technology being particularly useful in commercial 3D cameras. The idea is that you would snap a photo, then instantly check the 3D effect, much as you instantly check on the 2D images you snap today.

When will the tech reach the market? We don’t know yet. “We haven’t set a date for the market launch,” said the Ortus rep, “but we could start production in the near future, depending on demand from customers.” So in some measure, it’s up to you.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

wet market selling fish
wet market selling fish

This scientist now believes covid started in Wuhan’s wet market. Here’s why.

How a veteran virologist found fresh evidence to back up the theory that covid jumped from animals to humans in a notorious Chinese market—rather than emerged from a lab leak.

light and shadow on floor
light and shadow on floor

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.

masked travellers at Heathrow airport
masked travellers at Heathrow airport

We still don’t know enough about the omicron variant to panic

The variant has caused alarm and immediate border shutdowns—but we still don't know how it will respond to vaccines.

This new startup has built a record-breaking 256-qubit quantum computer

QuEra Computing, launched by physicists at Harvard and MIT, is trying a different quantum approach to tackle impossibly hard computational tasks.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.