A new to the Mac technology that enables users to run up to four additional monitors via USB is in development from DisplayLink - but the company is asking Mac users to lobby Apple to help accelerate development of the useful new solution.
As revealed yesterday, DisplayLink technology lets users run multiple monitors from one Mac, so long as the monitors support the technology. However, the beta software that's available now performs slowly when it comes to 2D and 3D representation - and Apple needs to become involved to address this problem, the company said.
DisplayLink's director of marketing, Jason Slaughter, explained the situation: "DisplayLink wants to deliver OpenGL (3D acceleration) to its Mac OS X offering so that all of the features of Mac OS X can be supported. We have already proven that this can be achieved technically using USB graphics, as we have added support for the Windows Vista 3D "Aero" interface in our Windows driver."
Slaughter explained that the attempt to create Aero support for the Vista version of the software required minimal help from Microsoft because "plenty of information about the Windows Vista display sub-system is available" to developers.
"Unfortunately Mac OS X is a closed system: there is no way to get information about the Mac OS X graphics APIs and interfaces," explains Slaughter. "What we need from Apple isn't development work, it's information. This information could come in the form of documentation about their graphics APIs, or by getting access to the OS X display source code - something Apple has done with other vendors in the past. It's not a lot of information that we need, but we cannot deliver a full solution for Mac OS X without it," he said.
Slaughter observed that the technology attracted substantial interest when DisplayLink demonstrated it at Macworld Expo, but said Apple's official response has been to indicate Mac users aren't interested in connecting monitors using USB, with Apple failing to provide the support the firm needs.
"As a result, we think it's important that users let Apple know that USB graphics technology would be useful to them. We believe that if we continue to build support within Apple, we'll be able to get the information we need to make the OS X DisplayLink software as good, if not better, as our Vista software," Slaughter said.