Holographic 3D TVs at MIT

The development of 3D screens and 3D viewing has taken a big leap thanks to the engineers and researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The team behind these developments has created a 3D display that doesn’t require special glasses for viewing, and offers an immersive 3D viewing experience that actually changes perspective as the viewer moves, akin to a hologram.

This revolutionary technology is based on established glasses-free 3D viewing technologies currently utilized in devices like Nintendo’s 3DS console. In these technologies, an offset image creates perspective, and alternating dark and light bands emit from the bottom of the screen causing the eye to take in only specific images at a time. Although this technology is advanced, it does not lend itself very well to larger screens.

Researchers at MIT have been developing a way to create a 3D screen that changes perspective when the viewer moves around. Their project is titled “High Rank 3D” (or HR3D), and involves a set of three screens which together create a holographic image. The first two LCD screens are sandwiched with advanced algorithms; they create top and bottom images that provide a different perspective based on the position of the viewer. A third screen is added so that hundreds of perspectives can be generated simultaneously to accommodate a moving viewer, and allow for a more manageable refresh rate at 360 Hz.

The technology could soon be implemented in various venues and even as a short term application, as it the third LCD screen can simply be added on. The HR3D project will be displayed in July 2013 at Siggraph, the annual trade conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Image: Mark Wallace

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