HP Introduces a Modified LCD Design for Glasses-Free Multi-Angle 3D Viewing

Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT by
HP Labs 3D Display

By introducing 'directional pixels,' even a cell phone could support 64 viewpoints for a video.

Among the challenges and drawbacks associated with 3D is the need for the viewer to maintain a precise viewing angle. This may be the most evident in a glasses-free 3D device like the Nintendo 3DS. HP Labs, which serves as Hewlett-Packard skunkworks, has cut to the chase with a solution that is so dramatic in its effect, the word hologram comes to mind.

Their modified LCD design utilizes the backlight of an LCD in a structured manner. By integrating nonopatterned grooves into the light directed sheet that is normally in place in the LCD, the LCD gains 'directional pixels.' Those pixels can display 200 different viewpoints of a static image, like a picture, or 64 viewpoints for a video.

The effect of all those viewpoints is holographic, an image projection far beyond stereoscopic 3D. The technology is suitable for current LCD devices, and smartphones and other mobile displays seem like the first candidates.

Unfortunately, as intelligent and innovative as the design is, it requires source information for each viewpoint. That means a 200 viewpoint photograph needs 200 angles worth of captured information. Likewise, a 64 viewpoint smartphone interface needs each angle rendered in order to feed the display.

Source: Technology Review via Engadget

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Tags: Directional Pixels, 3D, HP Labs (all tags)