15 mars, 2005

Sony Ericsson's display to adapt to environment

Many modern mobile phones with big color screens have static themes or skins allowing the user to change the graphical appearance of the display. Sony Ericsson is going one step further: they invented a system which - either automatically or semi-controlled by the user - changes the graphics of your mobile device according to its surrounding environment!

Sony Ericsson's system, which received patent status recently, requires three components:
1. a LCD display (or similar technologies such as OLED);
2. a reasonable fast processor controlling the usual operations as well as the graphical interface; and
3. a camera/viewfinder.

Unlike traditional static skinning, the system provides a more dynamic interface trying to make the phone look more "lively". It uses the viewfinder of the built-in camera to create a new context-dependent theme for the device that should resemble the general aspects of the surrounding.

For example, if the user is in a forest the colors could be dark and green, while if the user is at the sea, the dominant color would be blue. Also picture information could be used (either manually or automatically at regular time intervals) to set a background of the display, such as a transparent or semi-transparent still picture. As usual, the user could take a photo and use it as a background image. With the new system, he could also automatically have the background changed at regular time intervals (e.g. every hour, every day). Finally he could choose to have the background changed continuously, or at very small time intervals, to have the display always resemble the viewfinder. In future it should be even possible that if the user moves from one environment to another having e.g. a different light intensity or color scheme, the device would automatically sample a new picture and uses it for affecting overall screen graphics such as color settings, contrast, light intensity, shapes and sizes of icons, animation effects and bitmap shapes.

Unfaithful husbands should better turn off the auto-adaptive system in certain situations, or their cell phone could quickly become their worst treacherous enemy.