A three dimensional display is a device that
converts (renders) media or data into a format that produces a perception
of three dimensions. By filming media with two camera's that are only a
few inches apart and then projecting the media in a manner where the
viewer will watch each camera's output with only one eye, the illusion by
a person is that they can perceive height, width and depth of images.
Since depth perception is provided by providing different images to each
eye, various techniques are used, such as colored glasses, polarized
glasses and other methods that filter the media to provide different image
for each eye.
The term "Stereoscopy" is the generic term that
describes the apparatus that allows the viewer to enjoy the 3-D
Historically, 3-D is a revenue enhancement and
reappears every 30 years. Since its invention in 1838, stereoscopy has
been used as a technique to create the illusion of three dimension movies
and images. The boom in 3-D movies didn't come until 1950 when movie
producers became threatened by the new technology of television with
television gaining enormous popularity. The movies were losing box office
sales. However, theatres were equipped with the equipment and the movie
industry enjoyed a golden era of revenue and popularity.
· 3-D may be the tool to stopping movie piracy.
· All future DreamWorks animate productions
will be in 3-D.
· The 3-D technology basics remain the same.
Bringing it to the PC is the next step.
Filming the media in separate cameras in the
same orientation as our own eyes makes 3-D as simple concept that fools
the mind into seeing the media in 3-D. How do you bring this experience to
televisions or the PC? Stereoscopy methods are possible, but are more
difficult with PC screens. "Autostereoscope" is a method that allows 3-D
images to be experienced without the use of colored glasses or other
For normal 2D video displays, each eye views
the same image. For autosteroscopic displays, lens technology provides
different images to each eye thus providing the "auto" stereoscope.
Philips has created Autostereoscopic 3D displays that use multiview
lenticular technology, 2D plus depth media format and dual mode
Multiview Lenticular Display
A multiview lenticular display is a device
that provides multiple viewpoints using an optical lens that provides
several different viewing angles to a single display. When a viewer is
located at a viewpoint where they can view different images in each
eye, they can perceive image depth. Using multiview lenticular
displays allows for the use of multiple viewing points, which is an
optical solution. The display screen essentially wears "glasses" that
direct two images towards the user. Just like wearing glasses, the
"focal point" is set to hit the eye and provide the eye with a sharp
image. Similarly, if you move your orientation from the lenses, you
lose the image. The lenticular display projects two images that are
intended to be viewed by each eye separately in order to create the
3-D image. This implies that you must sit at the same spot front of
the 3D display to view media. However, a solution to this challenge is
to design a display that has multiple focal points.
To create a display with multiple
viewpoints, a display that has a set of lenses on top of the LCD
screen is used. Each of the cylindrical lenticules focus pixel images
below it to a particular focal point. By installing a display with
multiple lenticular lenses, as the viewer moves to different viewing
points, they can see different pixels below the lenticules.
Figure 1 shows how a multiview lenticular
display can provide depth perception and allow multiple viewers to
have different perspectives. This example shows that the display
provides several viewpoints that display different left and right
images. Each of the viewpoints sees different pixels located behind
the lenticular lens. As the viewer moves to different points, they can
see different display pairs. This allows the viewer to have a
different image with depth perception at multiple locations in front
of the display without the need for eyewear accessories.
Still a Technology in it's Infancy
3-D displays are in their infancy but the
potential benefits of enabling three-dimensional images on an
essentially flat screen potentially can provide some valuable
services. Imagine, Air Traffic Control Screens
in 3-D; Medical images that provide better
information than X-Ray's at a cost far less than MRI's and of course,
gaming, sports viewing, and enhanced messaging.
2D Plus Depth Video Format
Two dimension plus depth video format is a
three dimensional imaging system that uses a combination of 2D video plus
depth information to create a 3D image. The 2D plus depth format combines
information along with its depth from the
viewer. The use of a 2D plus depth video format allows for the use of
the same content format on standard displays. The added depth
information instructs the display device how to process the video
signal to add 3 dimensional attributes.
Figure 2 shows how 2D plus video format can
be enhanced with depth information. The standard video media is
provided in standard video format along with added depth information.
Dual Mode 2D and 3D Display
A dual mode 2D and 3D display has the
capability of providing images in either 2D or 3D display modes. Because
3D display mode uses some of the image resolution for depth perception,
dual mode displays may be switched to 2D mode for applications that
require more detail such as displaying text or web pages.
Changing display modes can be performed by
software (soft lens) or hardware. For software mode switching, the
underlying pixels are changed to provide the same image to the left and
right eyes. For hardware mode switching, the optical characteristic of the
lenses are changed using liquid crystal shutters or some other
controllable optical lens switch.
Figure 3 shows how dual mode depth display can
be used to provide both 2D and 3D images. This example shows that the 3D
format divides the pixels up into several different viewpoints. When the
display is in 3D mode, some of the pixels are focused to particular
viewing areas. When the 2D mode is used, viewers at all angles can see the
Where is the Revenue?
While some industries such as the medical
profession and architects may have a need for 3D displays, consumers have
been slow to adopt 3D eyewear. With profit margin's on computers at 4% for
profitable manufactures is there
incentive to add 3-D?
3-D technology is seeing another boom, lead
by new technology and commitments by industry enthusiast such as
Jeffery Katzenberg, head of DreamWorks Animation who will make all
future animated films in 3-D. There is a revenue motive as well.
Katzenberg says, "25% of our revenue is lost to piracy around the
world today," he said. "90% of that is due to someone taking a camera
into a movie theatre.
"You can't camcorder 3D - YET"
For more information about Philips 3D displays, you can contact:
Philips 3D Solutions
High Tech Campus 27
5656 AE Eindhoven
Web: www.Philips.com/3D Solutions