3D cinema has become a sensation, more and more movies being adapted to the technology. However, there are some who wish a glass-free alternative would exist. A 3D cinema without the glasses would be a dream come true for all individuals that have visual deficits.
MIT researchers know the struggle of having to wear 3D glasses over your regular ones. That is why they decided to search for a way to bring the glass-free three-dimensional technology in cinemas everywhere.
The task is not impossible, some devices on the market being capable of immersing the viewer in a 3D world without the aid of other accessories. For example, the Nintendo 3DS is already using this tech, but the engineering is hard to replicate on a larger scale.
“Existing approaches to glasses-free 3D require screens whose resolution requirements are so enormous that they are completely impractical. This is the first technical approach that allows for glasses-free 3D on a large scale,” declared Wojciech Matusik.
The existing technology uses multiple slits placed in front of the screen. These slits send different sets of pixels to each eye, thus creating a false sense of depth.
However, this technology (also called the parallax barriers) must be placed at a predetermined distance and angle in order to function correctly. This means that it cannot be employed by cinemas since the sitting charts are too diverse, some viewers being robbed of the 3D effect.
The MIT researchers working on the 3D cinema without the glasses are currently exploiting one of the key features of cinemas, more precisely, the sitting arrangement.
The chairs limit the range of angles in which a viewer moves his or her head. By using that information, the scientists devised a narrow field of angles and then replicated them to reach each individual chair in the audience.
The problem with the design is that the prototype requires 50 individual sets of lenses and mirrors, and it’s only slightly larger than a regular paper pad. However, in theory, the concept can be applied to any sized screen, from cinema screens to storefront advertisements and billboards.
“It remains to be seen whether the approach is financially feasible enough to scale up to a full-blown theater. However, we are optimistic that this is an important next step in developing glasses-free 3D for large spaces like movie theaters and auditoriums.”
What do you think about the idea of a 3D cinema without the glasses? Do you think it will make the screening more comfortable?
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