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Glasses-Free 3D Could Be Coming to Small Screens

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 11:18AM

Along with VR, 3D displays is a current trend in media industries as a means to more immerse and impress consumers, but the special hardware required can make it undesirable or unusable in some situations. To alleviate the need for at least 3D glasses, displays have been made that do not need them, but the approach used requires the viewer be far enough away that it cannot be deployed in small screens. As published in the Optics Express journal, researchers at the Seoul National University have developed a solution to this problem, and it will work with both liquid crystal and OLED based displays.

The way these glasses-free displays work is similar to the lenticular images and such we have seen on things like movie posters and toys. Multiple images are interlaced together and a parallax barrier with grooves matching the interlacing is placed on top of it, so that the image will be different, depending on the angle you look at it from. The problem with small displays is that the distance normally required to enjoy the 3D effect is around one meter, and this distance is based on the gap between the images and the parallax barrier.

What the South Korean researchers have done is develop a way to practically remove the gap between the image and the barrier, bringing that viewing distance much closer to the screen itself. This is achieved by using a monolithic structure that sandwiches a polarizing layer directly between the active parallax barrier layer and the image layer, making 2D/3D convertible mobile displays viable, while keeping cost and weight low.

Source: The Optical Society

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AkakmanH on November 07, 2016 23:20
I would really like to know how they can keep the cost low. The process to create this 3D sandwich has to be fairly expensive. Hope it works out. Although, I would like to see real holographic projection developed. That would be true 3D.

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