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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Feb. 6

"Depth perception wow feature," acronym bliss, stereo sound despair

By , Network World
February 07, 2013 05:04 PM ET

Page 2 of 4

So this intriguing and cool laser depth perception system actually will only work if you have the right accessories to hold the iPad in just the right position.

Purcher republishes an Apple drawing that shows an iMac with the Intriguing Depth Perception System consisting of the front-facing iSight camera and not one but two laser sources. With depth perception, the iMac (or the iPad) "is able to detect a user approaching it and activate a particular program, application, awake from sleep or power save mode, and the like." How this is different from "mere" presence detection is not explained.

We have to confess that even with the intriguing "and the like" added to that sentence, making it fecund with future promise, it's difficult for us to get the "wow-ness" of this feature.

iPad 5 will have GF2 DITO OMG IMHO screen structure

The ever-informative "industry sources" sent a thrill through the iOSphere when they confessed to DigiTimes that the Next iPad "will reportedly use the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touch screen structure as the company's iPad mini ..."

And why? "[I]n order to make the device thinner and lighter, according to industry sources."

"Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad models use a G/G touch screen structure," DigiTimes declared. "The sources said Apple's move to use DITO technology shows the company is looking to bump up its competition in the tablet segment and that it has more adequate supply to the technology compared to one-glass-solution (OGS) technology."

In the blizzard of iOSphere reposts, links, and commentary that greeted this characteristically brief, not to mention sketchy, DigiTimes post, very few bothered to spell out the acronyms, let alone explain what they mean. Trying to clarify this, for those of us not experts in the various technologies that makeup finished touchscreen units, is a daunting task.

Touch displays layer materials to do two things: to show the website or photo or video that you want to see and to accept touches or gestures as inputs instead of mouse clicks or keyboard taps. The combination of materials and technologies varies depending on the size of the screen, and the choices are a complex balancing act: raw material costs, manufacturing optimization, power demand, and many other variables.

In 2012, Apple introduced two new innovations for touchscreens: glass-on-glass in-cell technology for the iPhone 5, and dual indium tin oxide (DITO) on film instead of glass for the iPad mini.

In-cell technology, which The Rollup covered in March 2012, can eliminate some of the layers in the display. The benefits include clear, crisp images, greater resistance to vibration and impact, reduced components, reduced thickness and weight, more efficient light utilization, and resulting lower power consumption.

Indium tin oxide is costly because it depends on the rare element indium. ITO is used to make transparent conductive coatings for touch screens and other displays. DITO means the coating can be layered on both sides of single substrate, again reducing the number of layers in the display. The iPad mini is the first Apple product to use DITO with a film instead of glass, helping to keep the overall display thin.

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