Thursday, March 10, 2005

Is 3-D TV on the horizon?

Since holography (as a field of study) was my first love, (although this isn't technically "holographic" television), I wanted to post this recent article:

New 3D Screen Requires No Special Goggles

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - A German research institute has developed a screen that requires no special glasses to display three-dimensional images and can be viewed even from the side.

The display is meant to help architects and engineers visualize their designs or to make flight simulators more realistic. Doctors at the German University of Tuebingen have used it to train for minimally invasive surgery.

The screen, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications and displayed at the annual CeBIT technology fair in the German city of Hannover on Thursday, generates two slightly different images to make objects appear three-dimensional.

A lens in front of the display directs one beam of light toward the left eye of the viewer and a second beam toward the right, making 3D goggles unnecessary.

If the viewer moves to the side, a camera at the top of the display registers the movement and adjusts the lens.

The Berlin-based Fraunhofer Institute also shows a "3D kiosk" that uses the display, intended for high-tech showrooms.

The screen is mounted on a table that has cameras and infrared sensors hidden below the surface, which pick up on gestures, allowing the viewer to skip through images or rotate a three-dimensional object by pointing and moving the hand.

Consumer electronics companies Philips from the Netherlands and Sharp from Japan are also developing 3D displays that do not require special glasses. But because they do not yet track the viewer's movements, they require a viewer to choose the best position and remain there.

More articles and websites can be found here, here, here and here.


MichelleB said...

Then I'm not buying an HDTV. I'll wait for 3D TV, thank you very much.

Trubador said...

True 3-D/Holographic TV won't really be available for at least a couple decades. The processing power necessary to run it just doesn't exist. Imagine the difference in computing power and memory of an old Commodore 64 compared to a top-of-the-line computer you can buy today. Well, today's computing power for Holo-TV is basically equivalent to that Commodore 64.

Other applications will come before Holo-TV. Memory storage being a key area - imagine being able to hold many terabytes of information on something the size of a DVD. Where soon-coming BluRay-DVD will increase standard DVD storage capacity 6-8 times, Holo-DVD (even in it's early stages) will be able to hold something like six channels of 24 hour TV broadcasts for 5-6 days... on ONE Holo-DVD. And THAT technology, I predict, will appear within a decade.