Electronics manufacturers working towards glasses-free 3D displays and Holographic TV

Electronics manufacturers are looking forward to a future of 3D TV that is not rimmed with uncomfortable fashion-offensive goggles.

LG is currently investigating the use of Parallax barrier images, Lenticular technology and holographic technology in the hope of creating glasses-free 3D for the mainstream.

At the same time, Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group is working towards a future where glasses-free 3D displays are much more practical.

Back in 2005 an Australian company by the name of DDD was pioneering glasses-free 3D displays, film director James Cameron had already committed to creating all his future films in 3D, and Sharp had sold more than three million 3D-display cell phones to consumers in Japan. 3D technology seemed to be well on its way to becoming a household technology.

Advance forward five years and electronics manufacturers are only just now clambering to get their brand name on a 3D TV in your home. High prices and lack of 3D content are just a couple of factors listed in the slow consumer uptake of 3D technology.

The major problem with currently available 3D technology is the lack of high quality, low-cost consumer-ready 3D displays - displays that don't require consumers to purchase awkward-looking glasses made by said brand name to watch the action in 3D.

LG provided consumers with a snapshot of the technology they are currently working on to bring glasses-free images into the third dimension on their UK blog on June 14. The blog post explains how Parallax barrier images, Lenticular technology and holographic technology work and how these technologies might be used in the company's future 3D projects.

Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group is also developing for the future. The group recently showed off a prototype lens at the Society for Information Display International Symposium (SID) that can individually tailor a viewer's 3D experience without the need of glasses. The prototype lens is capable of tracking individual viewers and can display multiple images to create the illusion of stereoscopic images.

"What's so special about this lens is that it allows us to control where the light goes," explained Steven Bathiche, director of Microsoft Applied Sciences Group director Steven Bathiche to MIT's Technology Review on June 11.

The new technology provides examples of how consumers might watch 3D in the future, but 3D enthusiasts should be warned that this technology will not be immediately available to buyers.

Holographic displays face "numerous technological challenges - including the need to improve laser efficiency, create a universal implementation system and secure the vast storage space needed to handle holographic content," explained LG. These challenges "ensure that holograms remain a good bit further away even than glasses-free 3D TV."

To learn more about LG's glasses-free 3D technology visit: http://www.lgblog.co.uk/2010/06/a-3d-future-without-glasses/

A video of Microsoft's new 3D display can be seen here: http://www.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=579

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25524/?a=f

 

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