We all know the drill: whenever you're using a projector you need to make the room as dark as possible so the images don't get all washed out. But Hitachi wants to change that with a new chip that automatically applies corrections and adjustments to a projected image so that it looks clear even in bright light.

Using something called the Retinex Theory which is based on a model of human vision, the chip processes video and images in real-time—up to 60 frames per second—but instead of doing overall corrections, it only fine tunes the parts of the image that the human eye would have trouble seeing.


The contrast is selectively adjusted so that dark shadowed areas gain detail again, while blown out brighter areas are tweaked so they're not completely white. Sharpness is added to improve the outline of specific areas or objects in a scene, and then colors are enhanced so they don't look completely washed out.

The technology means that home theaters built around a projector can be used in the day without having to close curtains and create a dark cave. But the new chips—which will be rolled out in just a few months—can also work on other displays, like those in a vehicle that need to provide a driver with legible info no matter how bright the sun is shining in. [Hitachi via Tech-on!]