Transparent Displays

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Indysolo, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Wil Wheaton brought that up in one of the recent actor interviews in the Ready Room. Not sure which actor it was, but he was comparing notes about having a system for how he pretended to play the controls for different functions.
     
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  2. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine having to pretend to press 16 buttons on a flat plastic surface to "fire photon torpedos" felt a bit silly too...
    We all adapt to the tools we use.
    I regularly watch shows on a tiny screen, reading the captions because I don't want to disturb my seven year old son who is fighting sleep. I'm sure I could get used to floating controls.
     
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  3. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe, TV producers who think they look cool.
     
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  4. Lexomatic

    Lexomatic Ensign Newbie

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    During the TNG era (1987 to 2002), everybody used PADDs, because (a) flat-panel portable computing devices were still futuristic to audiences, and (b) they make for a useful props -- pass from one actor to another, toss to a desk in frustration, untidy pile to imply a mass of work. (Same as a tricorder, isolinear rod, or blinky-light medical or engineering implement.)

    In PIC, projected holographics seem to be the modality of choice, whether the hardware is a wand (flat on Soji's desk, held by Raffi), a card (Jurati's photo album), a V-shape (Dahj's), or inconspicuous (La Sirena's bridge). What we don't know: Is there a tactile element? Holodecks have micro-tractor beams to provide solidity, so does the translucent image push back against your finger? (Pratfalls of the 2390s: punch angrily at your desktop screen and fall through.) Or does that require more power than a portable device can safely store, or a matrix of projectors that obviates the "portable"?

    Free-space holographics is futuristic ("something we can't do, but we keep trying"), but it may have the additional virtue in Hollywood that it's easier and more versatile in post production than alternative aspirational tech, such as flexible displays. Consider the pull-out screens of the "globals" in Earth: Final Conflict (1996), or the unfold-from-business-card-to-bigger devices described in Newton's Wake (2004 MacLeod).

    A missed opportunity: the displays are just as flat as a modern panel, failing to make use of humanity's talent for 3D manipulation. (Or it's a testament to the elegance of 24cen GUI designers that they can avoid z-stacking.) There's a TV ad for personal investments (it runs regularly on U.S. network CNBC) in which a woman fiddles with a wooden pie-chart disc that transforms her desk into a tiny-city visualization of her portfolio, the components of which can be separated and transformed -- that's a lot more imaginative. (And it probably took a month to animate.)
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I gather the holo-controls used for operating the ship are fully tactile and 3D. And there would be benefits to the "mere" displays having a tactile component, too, so that the double-clicking and finger-zooming actions of DSC can be more precisely controlled. But can you take your floating holo-paper, roll it up and hit your dog with that?

    Flatness is in the eye of the beholder, when it comes to displays. From the user's POV, there might be functional depth to the things being displayed. Just like there was to the otherwise flat main viewer of the E-D, only more so, because walking around the smaller displays is more effective (i.e. gives you more angular speed) than traipsing in front of said main viewer.

    Certainly PIC is making a valiant effort at portraying its holograms as more advanced and user-friendly than their "23rd century" counterparts - the displays that follow the user's head and/or eyes, the three-dimensionality of the controls that follow hand movements, the seeming freedom of where and what to project without care of projector placement. How we might interpret the flat (but still potentially functionally 3D) displays and interfaces of the 1980s-90s spinoffs as "an intermediate step" is the big challenge...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    I think they look cool. :)
     
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And perhaps soon enough, nothing else will be available. I mean, where's my wrist phone? Instead, I have to rub my finger on this stupid piece of glass that's way too big to hold and has slipped to a destructive end several times already; the monstrosity ties both of my hands and still only offers a one-finger interface, complete with an obstructionist second-guesser software. But the market is driven by that which can be manufactured, which happens to be flat displays, not by what the users might have use for.

    Which is why grassroots campaigns are doomed to fail all. Market forces pay no heed to the consumer, beyond the fact that they dictate what the consumer gets.

    Then again, Starfleet Is The MIlitary. There's even less of an element of choice for the user there!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  8. Yistaan

    Yistaan Commodore Commodore

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    I think there should be a line where these holographic displays are mentioned to not be in use on Starfleet ships because the enemy on the viewscreen can read vital stats right off from them. Better than the "holograms are causing problems, rip them out" excuse given in Discovery by Pike
     
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  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Communications systems providing a view of your bridge are pretty stupid in any case; I doubt the display type is particularly relevant in that respect. The Feds still prefer such systems, while their adversaries avoid them (read: shooting the standing bridge sets is affordable, building full bridge backgrounds for the adversary of the week is not). It would appear to be a fundamental doctrinal choice of some sort...

    I wonder if PIC is going to invest in bridge sets of any sort at all, beyond the Sirena set. They already dodged showing at least one adversary bridge.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Regarding the holographic hand controls, is there any reason why they couldn't be "solid" holograms?
    As well as giving the user something to rest their hands on this would also provide tactile feedback.
    It's certainly something well within the bounds of the later 24th century's technology, especially on the La Sirena which clearly has holo emitters installed on every deck!
     
  11. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The major problem with flat screen or holo displays appears when the user is bouncing around. It is much harder to hit the right control on a flat display than to press a physical button, when experiencing turbulence.
     
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  12. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As Mom said in Futurama as to why robots have visible antennae poking out, "it's to make them look more science-fictioney". Same goes for something as impracticable as floating text that only college kids would be forced to use since they'd not learn much due to all the distractions and headaches incurred.
     
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  13. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Try trifocals on a frame that's 1" vertical height! :devil:
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I imagine there'd have to be a tactile component...both for the intuitiveness of knowing when you've actually hit the button, and for being able to "feel for the keys".
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Considering that one can interact with holograms as real objects I would imagine some sort of haptic feedback would be necessary.
     
  16. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh those, poor, poor people! :rommie:
     
  17. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Frankly, that there are any displays at all in the 25th century would be surprising outside some niche applications. I'd imagine there'd be implanted bio-nano-whatever-tech that gives a personalized projected environment superimposed on reality such that there'd be no need for it.
     
  18. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They are really stupid those things. Why would you want a screen where you can see right through. If my telly was like that I would think it was defective
     
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  19. Galaxy

    Galaxy Commander Red Shirt

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    Whoever uses a HUD in a car knows how well transparent displays can work. I never want another car without one. Now as a replacement for a laptop/desktop screen, no, but for operating a ship I can see the advantage.
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Because I like the adaptable nature of it.