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MIT works on high-def, glass-free 3D

Posted: 13 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D? glass-free? auto-stereoscopic techniques?

A new algorithm for rendering higher resolution 3D images was recently described by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. The high-resolution 3D technique is glasses-free, but does not reduce brightness or restrict viewer orientation as with conventional auto-stereoscopic techniques, according to its inventors.

Prototyped by Ramesh Raskar's Camera Culture group, the technique performs calculations for both vertical and horizontal parallax on every pixel in separate left and right images from a stereo camera. Then, instead of converting the images into vertical slits that route the original images to the correct eye with a parallax barrier, the new technique uses a customized multiperspective parallax barrier that adapts to the amount of 3D information present at each pixel.

MIT's prototype uses two stacked liquid crystal displays with a parallax barrier that is calculated separately for each image, resulting in an auto-stereoscopic image that is brightersince it does not half the light from each pixel as with conventional glasses-free displaysplus can be properly perceived even if the viewers head tilts from side-to-side.

Because the parallax barrier blocks less light, the display itself also consumes less energy than conventional glass-free 3D methods. However the computational complexity of creating a custom parallax barrier for each image will require extra power.

To remedy this concern, the researchers are currently working to simplify the algorithm's complexity, as well as create custom acceleration chips that offset the extra computational effort expended to create the customized parallax barriers that enable the higher resolution 3D display.

Camera Culture members include Ramesh Raskar, Doug Lanman, Yun Hee Kim, and Matthew Hirsch.

dual-stacked LCD

Instead of using the unedited left and right images from a twin-lens camera, MIT's dual-stacked LCD displays uses content-adaptive parallax barriers.

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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