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4K shift comes to computers

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Computer monitors have come a long way from the bulky CRT screens of the 1980s, from plasma screens and LCDs to LED and high definition displays, and now to 4K displays, writes BRUCE BYRNE.

The evolution of the computer screen has delivered ever-clearer picture quality in slimmer form factors with larger displays and more screen real estate. Ultra-HD represents the next step in this chain of evolution, and 4K monitors are now a reality, delivering four times the resolution with four times the detail and four times the picture quality. Available in sizes of up to 40-inches, these large format 4K monitors deliver more than 100cm of extreme viewing clarity, superior contrast ratio including colour replication, and an unprecedented viewing experience ideal for entertainment, business productivity and much more.

Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays, also known as 4K displays, offer screen resolution of 2160 pixels by 3840 pixels. This is four times the resolution of a standard 720 pixel by 1280 pixel HD monitor, which in turn translates into much higher clarity of images and extreme levels of detail never before seen in a computer display. Utilising white solid-state LEDs, 4K monitors enable better dimming control, resulting in a super high contrast ratio, and deliver superior colour reproduction with consistent brightness across the screen. Higher contrast and dynamic image configuration ensure optimal viewing in any conditions. Details are clearer, text is sharper, colours are more true to life, and image quality is more impressive than ever. A wider viewing angle of up to 176 degrees allows images on screen to be viewed accurately from anywhere in a room, and innovative technology even enables users to connect multiple devices side by side to a single monitor for advanced multitasking capability.

This lends 4K monitors perfectly to a wide range of different applications. At home, users can stream movies and view and edit photographs with more clarity and detail than ever. For gamers, these monitors provide a truly immersive experience, allowing the user to get deeper into the world of their games for enhanced play. Numerous connectivity options including USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort make it easy for users to connect a host of peripherals, including set top boxes and Blu-ray players, for ultimate streaming and centralised media access. In addition, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), a mobile audio/video interface for directly connecting mobile phones and other portable devices to high-definition displays, offers connectivity for the mobile world. With an optional MHL cable, users can connect MHL-capable devices to the display in seconds for UHD content sharing and simultaneous device charging.

For professional photographers and videographers, more detail is available for more accurate and seamless editing and viewing. In the business space, 4K monitors can help to improve productivity, with more screen space for key applications like spreadsheets and the ability to maintain multiple open windows on the same screen without losing detail and clarity. Specialised applications like scientific imaging can benefit from uncompromising clarity and the ability to view in granular detail, while Computer Aided Design (CAD) can leverage more space, more detail and improved responsiveness and multitasking ability.

In addition to lending itself to multiple applications, 4K monitor technology is also better for the environment and for users themselves. LEDs are free from mercury, making the displays more eco-friendly to manufacture and dispose of. Consistent images displays without screen flicker are better for the eyes, and additional screen space lets users zoom their displays to a level that is comfortable for their individual eyesight. With UHD set to become the next standard in broadcasting and display technology, 4K monitors allow users to benefit now while preparing for the future and protecting their investment.

* Bruce Byrne, Philips Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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