Most people’s experience with 3D involves wearing tinted glasses in a cinema. But a new technology, which does not require glasses and may enable 3DTV, is being developed by European researchers.
While the first applications of the new technology are likely to be the fields of industry and science, there are also very major implications for the future of entertainment, both at the cinema and on television, as well as in video gaming.
The most important aspect of the new system from the user perspective is that nothing is required of the viewer – no need for the special glasses in cinemas or having to adjust your head into specific positions to get the 3D effect, as with a holographic image. It provides the closest video 3D viewing experience compared to the well-known static holography, where the user can freely move to change viewing angle.
The breakthrough has been thanks to two EU-funded projects, firstly HOLOVISION, which ended in April last year, and then its successor OSIRIS, which is still going and runs until the end of 2009.
Resolution 10x that of HDTV
Ákos Demeter of Holografika, a partner in both projects, explains that in the first one the primary aim was to develop technologies capable of producing a very high-resolution 3D image.
“We basically organised projection engines in a special way and used holographic imaging film for the display screen. The combination of these, with the projection engines being driven by a cluster of nine high-end PCs, and new sophisticated software, allowed us to achieve our aims,” he notes.
A prototype system was produced with a resolution of 100Mpixel – or around 10 times that of HDTV – at 25 frames a second in six colours, rather than the standard RGB (red, green, blue). The researchers were able to increase the resolution three fold to virtually 300Mpixel by using greyscales instead of colours.
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