Thanks to at least two research efforts around the world, glasses-free 3D might finally be upon us. 3D-TV was something of a flash in the pan, and while 3D movies continue to be made in order to inflate ticket prices, the format’s not going anywhere any time soon.
The biggest headache associated with it (apart from actual headaches) is that the glasses that cut out up to 30 per cent of the light from the screen, impose a new manufacturing cost, and probably end up in landfill.
A joint venture by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science is developing a system that works similar to 3D-TV technology. The 3D effect is achieved by a series of tiny slits in the screen – the parallax barrier – that let different images travel in different directions.
In the cinema you can encode multiple parallax barriers to target each seat in the cinema, where the polarisation of the glasses selectively lets a separate image through to each eye. It’s much easier than the living room where we might move around or sit any distance away.
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