Issue: Volume: 25 Issue: 10 (October 2002)

Focus with Perspective

Xerox Parc researchers Patrick Baudisch and Nathan Good have designed a novel Focus Plus Context Screen, a large, low-res display with a high-res display embedded within. The hybrid projection technology allows the user to view details of images up close, while seeing the periphery in lower resolution. Customized software preserves the proper scaling of an image across both regions. The technology is aimed at users who work with visualizations that are too large and detailed to fit on conventional displays and who must continuously pan and zoom to examine specific areas. According to the developers, the technique enables users to work faster with fewer errors, and because only a portion of the screen is in high resolution, the technology is less expensive than array-based projection systems that provide sharp images over the entire screen. In the photo above, the inset area allows users to see individual cars on a satellite photo of San Francisco, while the surrounding region provides context by showing important landmarks of the city. —PL

Image courtesy P. Baudisch, N. Good, Xerox PARC, Siggraph 2002 Emerging Technologies.