Almost everyone has seen, or heard of, 3D television shows or theme park
attractions. Unfortunately you've had to wear special glasses to experience
these three dimensional images. Not anymore. Companies are developing
display technologies that remove the need for glasses.
15" and 50" displays. The 15" display uses an LCD and
the 50" display uses a plasma screen. Like most of the other companies
they have a unique approach to displaying glasses free 3D images.
"Standard flat panel LCD and plasma displays ranging in size
from 15 inches to 50 inches are fitted with a wavelength optical filter.
The filter, designed by 4D-Vision of Germany, works by deflecting light
from the screen according to its color. Red, green and blue light is
deflected in different directions to create left and right eye views
in eight adjacent viewing plains. The result is a wide angle, multi-viewer,
'no glasses' 3D display."
Since this section was written DMA has changed their name to VIZTA3D
and the HDVD products discussed here are now sold by a subsidiary named
DMA Glassworks. VIZTA3D's web site does not contain a working link to
DMA Glassworks and it appears that the only way to contact DMA Glassworks
is by phone. Alan Sullivan, the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VIZTA3D/DMA, is now the CEO of LightSpace Technologies, Inc., but it is unknown if any of the technologies transferred companies along with the CTO. This section will be updated when more information is available.
Associates (DMA) High Definition Volumetric Display (HDVD®) technology
is hard to classify because they target just about every application
you can think of.
DMA has some examples of possible applications on their web site, but
here is one example we came up with. If you've ever been to Walt Disney
World in Orlando, Florida you'll know what we're talking about. For
those of you who haven't been it shouldn't be hard to follow along.
At one point on the haunted house ride you look into a mirror and it
seems like a ghost is sitting next to you on the ride. But, when you
actually look at the seat there is no ghost. If HDVD® was in some way
implemented into the seat you'd not only see the ghost in the mirror,
but it would actually be sitting next to you.
This specific example is probably a little ways off, but it seems that
a lot of terrific stuff can already be displayed. Here is one example
quoted directly from DMA's web site.
"DMA's floating-image 3-D projection system, is the basis for
an exhibit, called Hologlobe, displayed last year at the Smithsonian
National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Installed as
part of that organization's 150th anniversary celebration, the exhibit
is the largest application of HDVD® technology to date, creating a four-foot,
3-D image of the Earth that hangs in midair."
Update April 2009: Apparently Philips is pulling the plug on their 3D television products and the 3D Solutions division.
Philips calls the technology behind their 42" high definition display "slanted multi-view lenticular lens." What this means is multiple viewers can see the three dimensional effect simultaneously without wearing glasses. Philips also offers some desktop sized LCDs.
When many people think of 3D displays they think of Princess Leia's message in Star Wars. In a Flash demo at their site Provision Interactive claims this three dimensional projector has arrived. Here's a quote from their web site.
"Provision displays project three dimensional digital video images out into space detached from any screen, rendering truly independent floating images featuring high definition and crisp visibility from distances up to 100 ft and up to 60° viewing angles."
This large format display looks very impressive in videos. If it works as well in real world situations Vizoo has a hit on their hands. The technology is claimed to work inside and outside. Here's a quote about how the technology works.
Cheoptics360™ is a four-sided pyramid manufactured of transparent material so the audience can see through it from every side. Inside the pyramid chamber the audience can see objects that seem to be freely floating video images and computer graphics. This is done through surface mirroring and reflections. The pyramid itself is used as a kind of prism that assembles light from four video projections into a solid image.
“We simply use physical space to create a three dimensional feeling of reality as though the object was actually present in the space. In future, using this technique physical space itself will create 3D depth,” says Peter Simonsen.
High Resolution 3D Stereoscopic LCD Projectors will allow presenters
to more accurately show their audience how a design works. Models that
use polarized glasses are already available from companies like VRex.
The ultimate in cool would be an autostereoscopic projector, like R2D2
uses in Star Wars® to display a message from Princess Leia. The
closest thing to this is DMA's HDVD, but they don't currently have a
small, projector size device.
If you're business has a lot of money and needs the ultimate in display
technology try Fakespace's Immersive
WorkWall. It's supports a screen size of up to 8 by 24 feet and
is viewable by 40 people. The large size makes the system capable of
displaying full scale models of many products, including cars. At near
$200,000 it isn't cheap.
On May 29, 2003 Fakespace announced their new 1600x1200 stereoscopic
projection technology. You can read about it here.
The gaming industry has driven consumer interest in 3D graphics so
it is surprising that no companies are making 3D displays for arcade
The difference in graphics quality between arcade games and consoles
has narrowed over the years, but three dimensional displays could once
again give arcade games an edge over console systems.
Dynamic Digital Depth
(DDD) has developed technologies that provide ground-breaking improvements
in content conversion and transmission for 3D displays. Images and videos
that were originally shot with normal 2D cameras can be converted to
3D images that show depth when viewed on a stereo display. This technology,
called Dynamic Depth CueingT (DDC), forms the nucleus of DDD's ability
to encode, decode and display 2D compatible 3D content and is the basis
of 18 patents in 47 countries.