June 8, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Forget the glasses--3D monitors ready now

(continued from previous page)

But put on a pair of polarizing glasses, which block the right-eye image from hitting your left eye and vice versa, or stand in the sweet spot in front of a glasses-less 3D monitor, and your brain "sees" a 3D image. The right and left images stitch together in the brain in the same way right and left eye input would if the object happened to actually be there.

Alternatively, a monitor can consume all of the pixels for one image, and toggle between left and right images rapidly.

"With 3D, the effect gets bigger as the screen gets larger."
--Jos Swillens, president and general manager, Philips' 3D division

"If the switching speed is fast enough, our brains form a 3D image," said C.H. Chen, a graduate student at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan who is working with AU Optronics on a 3D monitor for cell phones.

Additionally, virtually all 3D monitors can function as 2D monitors by having the computer resort to serving up unified images. On most, it takes the click of a mouse.

Technically, 3D is becoming feasible because of the high number of pixels in high-definition television. Researchers in corporate and university labs, meanwhile, have worked on ways to make the 3D effect possible without glasses and expand the size of the sweet spot.

The screens from Philips and Sanyo, for instance, contain an elaborate array of lenses in front of the pixel array. The lenses project the right and left images accurately toward the right and left eyes and thus eliminate the need for glasses that would block images for the other eye.

With Philips' 42-inch monitor, which came out last November and sells for $11,995, the effect works best when viewers sit about 4 meters away. With a 20-inch version of the monitor coming out in the third quarter, 3D effects start to kick in at about 20 centimeters.

To expand the sweet spot, the Philips monitor projects out eight different right/left pairs of images, so even if you sit toward the edge of the screen, or move around, you still get the effect. The company has also increased the depth of the optimal viewing area, so that not all viewers have to stand in the same vertical plane.

"With 3D, the effect gets bigger as the screen gets larger," Swillens said. The technology also works on both LCDs and plasma TVs. Achieving the full effect, however, also requires complex image processing, which can be tweaked for optimal 3D effects or a larger sweet spot.

In some early versions of 3D monitors currently on the market and produced by other vendors like SeeReal Technologies, the sweet spot is somewhat constrained: Viewers have to stand straight in front of the monitor about 2 feet away.

TV programs and games do not have to be rewritten to take advantage of the WOW technology, said Swillens. The monitor itself will 3D-ize some content itself. Still, it helps. Viewers seem to like a combination of out-of-screen and behind-screen effects. By working with content producers, 3D effects can be orchestrated.

"Some people get a headache. Some people like it for a long time," said Martin Hiddink, a scientist at Philips Research Labs.

Naturally, Philips is developing tools to port content to 3D. One of the early users could become sports broadcasters, the company said. A base of 3D TVs at home could also encourage more 3D movies.

ColorLink's Korah, though, says that the glasses-less don't fit well with the market. Games will likely be the main form of 3D content for a while, and viewers won't want to use 3D all the time.

"The cost of autostereoscopic is much more," he said.

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12 comments

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Viewing from 196 feet away?
The second photo for this story has a caption that says: "The 3D effect of the 20-inch screen can be viewed about 60 meters away," which is about 196 feet. Surely they meant 60 centimeters (about 2 feet).
Posted by Dale Sundstrom (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HDTV
hasn't gone mainstream yet,
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
Viewing from 196 feet away?
The second photo for this story has a caption that says: "The 3D effect of the 20-inch screen can be viewed about 60 meters away," which is about 196 feet. Surely they meant 60 centimeters (about 2 feet).
Posted by Dale Sundstrom (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HDTV
hasn't gone mainstream yet,
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
Talk About A "Solution" Looking for a Problem ...
it's amazing that Phillips has any money lying around to toss at this kind of project, considering the cuts they've had to make over the last few years. If manufacturers thought that HDTV was a hard sell, just wait until they try hawking this stuff - as if retailers have any room for yet-another product category (although, I suppose room is opening up as the picture-tube based TVs edge toward oblivion - you really have to look for them down a side aisle in Bust Buy and Circuitous S#ity).

If the primary means of accomplishing what they're doing is optical channeling, then what's next, the modern-day equivalent of "color TV" plastic overlays that were sold for 1950s/1960s black-and-white TVs (they had blue, flesh-tone, and brown bands of color, from the top to the bottom of the screen)?

This too, like the dodo, shall become extinct, yet another dead end in marketeers' plans. At least they realize that it's yet-another chicken-and-egg situation, where it's useless without the content, and vice versa. Considering the dearth of quality content in 2-D, I can only imagine what ubiquitous home shopping networks, soap operas, and "reality" shows (oh, the latter two are redundant) will look like in 3-D (shudder).

Maybe I'll start a research lab for development of teletransportation devices that don't quite work, either. At least those would have a useful purpose, if and when they ever did become operational, much less economically feasible (ala the 3-D "fax" machine that would be in every 7-11 type of store in "Neuromancer").

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
About Philips
Philips hold the patents on video games, interactivity, compact
optical technology (standard and recordable), HDTV, and MPEG/
JPEG. Most of these were aquired when Philips bought Magnavox
and started doing manufacturing for Memerox.

So even if money runs out from sales, they have all of these patents
that just have the money keep pouring in.

Programmer #A-5 of www.totallyparanoia.com
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Link Flag
Talk About A "Solution" Looking for a Problem ...
it's amazing that Phillips has any money lying around to toss at this kind of project, considering the cuts they've had to make over the last few years. If manufacturers thought that HDTV was a hard sell, just wait until they try hawking this stuff - as if retailers have any room for yet-another product category (although, I suppose room is opening up as the picture-tube based TVs edge toward oblivion - you really have to look for them down a side aisle in Bust Buy and Circuitous S#ity).

If the primary means of accomplishing what they're doing is optical channeling, then what's next, the modern-day equivalent of "color TV" plastic overlays that were sold for 1950s/1960s black-and-white TVs (they had blue, flesh-tone, and brown bands of color, from the top to the bottom of the screen)?

This too, like the dodo, shall become extinct, yet another dead end in marketeers' plans. At least they realize that it's yet-another chicken-and-egg situation, where it's useless without the content, and vice versa. Considering the dearth of quality content in 2-D, I can only imagine what ubiquitous home shopping networks, soap operas, and "reality" shows (oh, the latter two are redundant) will look like in 3-D (shudder).

Maybe I'll start a research lab for development of teletransportation devices that don't quite work, either. At least those would have a useful purpose, if and when they ever did become operational, much less economically feasible (ala the 3-D "fax" machine that would be in every 7-11 type of store in "Neuromancer").

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
About Philips
Philips hold the patents on video games, interactivity, compact
optical technology (standard and recordable), HDTV, and MPEG/
JPEG. Most of these were aquired when Philips bought Magnavox
and started doing manufacturing for Memerox.

So even if money runs out from sales, they have all of these patents
that just have the money keep pouring in.

Programmer #A-5 of www.totallyparanoia.com
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Link Flag
Old News
In 1991, I saw the Air Force's prototype monitors for 3D. In
color, cheap to make. The experiment it was using had the skies
over the Las Vegas area appear in 3D. It was cool, but after a
while, because of the spinning tubes, I would get a headache.

Also in 1991, over at Daewoo in South Korea, I viewed
holographic TV, which would also be photographed with still or
video cameras, and 3D TV. The lady giving the tour said that
using the holographs to do 3D would be too expensive, hence,
the tech fell by the wayside. Now, I consider it ironic that after
Daewoo has collapsed that 3D TV is the style they suggested
had been reported.

3D TV will take off, though. Some elements would incorporated
into TVs, but not the way it is described here. It might show up
in slot machines, but again, not the way it is described here. I
know, though, that it won't go the way of a Viewfinder or a
Virtual Boy ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_boy" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_boy</a> ), but
might use multi-planed glass and layers via plasma, laser, LCD,
or all three, in a way we have to comprehend.

Programmer #A-5 of www.totallyparanoia.com
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
too complicated
3D can be done through sheer frames per second.
120 fps has long been available through surveillance systems and all the co's mentioned are working on increased fps, anyway.
Posted by FisherKingKQJ (59 comments )
Link Flag
Old News
In 1991, I saw the Air Force's prototype monitors for 3D. In
color, cheap to make. The experiment it was using had the skies
over the Las Vegas area appear in 3D. It was cool, but after a
while, because of the spinning tubes, I would get a headache.

Also in 1991, over at Daewoo in South Korea, I viewed
holographic TV, which would also be photographed with still or
video cameras, and 3D TV. The lady giving the tour said that
using the holographs to do 3D would be too expensive, hence,
the tech fell by the wayside. Now, I consider it ironic that after
Daewoo has collapsed that 3D TV is the style they suggested
had been reported.

3D TV will take off, though. Some elements would incorporated
into TVs, but not the way it is described here. It might show up
in slot machines, but again, not the way it is described here. I
know, though, that it won't go the way of a Viewfinder or a
Virtual Boy ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_boy" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_boy</a> ), but
might use multi-planed glass and layers via plasma, laser, LCD,
or all three, in a way we have to comprehend.

Programmer #A-5 of www.totallyparanoia.com
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
too complicated
3D can be done through sheer frames per second.
120 fps has long been available through surveillance systems and all the co's mentioned are working on increased fps, anyway.
Posted by FisherKingKQJ (59 comments )
Link Flag
 

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