Researchers Chase 3D Without the Glasses
by Martyn Williams
It's the talk of consumer electronics and gaming. Depending on who you ask, 3D could change the way we watch TV and play computer games, but there's one thing it seems everyone is agreed on: who wants to wear those goofy glasses?
It turns out you might not have to. At this week's Cebit IT fair, engineers are showing a new breed of screen that projects a 3D image towards the viewer's eyes so glasses aren't required.
Glasses are used to select which of two images each eye sees, allowing the right eye to see one and the left eye the other using either color filters or shutters synchronized with the screen. In the new displays the separation is done by a panel consisting of tiny lenses that sits in front of the screen.
The basic technology isn't new but in the past this type of screen has projected a 3D image to a single spot in space and the viewer needs to be in that sweet-spot to see it. If you move to another position all you see is a blurred image, while if you watch the screen with a friend, someone is out of luck. With the new displays, though, that's changing.
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