July 15, 2005 12:32 PM PDT

Multitasking monitor does double duty

A new TV monitor from Sharp could soon end a common source of household strife--choosing a channel. But it may mean sitting at the opposite end of the couch from your honey.

The new liquid crystal display, which should hit stores this month, will be the first mass-produced monitor capable of displaying different images at the same time depending on the angle at which viewers are watching, Sharp said on Thursday.

Sharp says the technology, which it calls "two-way viewing-angle LCD," is useful for a number of things. For instance, one person could watch a TV program while another surfs the Web with the same monitor. In a car, the monitor might display a map for the driver while playing a movie for passengers.

Sharp dual-image monitor

The screen could also function as a double-duty billboard, displaying different advertisements at the same time. A salesperson could use it for meetings with customers, keeping certain confidential data from view, Sharp said.

However, watching different TV shows or movies at the same time creates a problem--overlapping sound. For that, viewers would presumably need to wear headphones, which might make movie night with the family a little awkward.

The dual-image LCD will cost about twice as much as Sharp's standard display, according to an Associated Press report. Sharp representatives were not immediately available to discuss pricing.

The technology that enables the device is called a "parallax barrier." When superimposed on the LCD, it causes "the light from the backlight to separate into right and left directions, which makes possible a display in which the view differs depending on the angle at which the screen is viewed," Sharp said in a statement.

6 comments

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Wow
I want to see this in action!
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
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pretty cool
nice one.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
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Narrow scope
Its some cool innovation, no doubt. I seriously doubt if it will make any dent in home entertainment. You don't want to spend a lot and then not watch somethign together with your family. And its too much of a hassle for home use. You always have to sit on one side of your room to watch ! I do see good scope in the screen being used for advertising display, yes.
Posted by (6 comments )
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Now there's a business idea...
Hmmm...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
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Good way to double desktop workspace...
why didn't they think of this as an application? Takes up much less
desk space than two monitors.
Posted by Microbreak (61 comments )
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Use Directional Sound for TV
There should be no problem with overlapping sounds from different channels on the TV if directional sound speakers are used.
Posted by (1 comment )
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