3-D Without the Glasses – A new type of display from Microsoft produces multiple images and tracks the viewers’ eyes.

Today’s 3-D movies are far more spectacular than the first ones screened more than 50 years ago, but watching them–both at the movie theater and at home–still means donning a pair of dorky, oversized glasses. Now a new type of lens developed by researchers in Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group could help make glasses-free 3-D displays more practical.

The new lens, which is thinner at the bottom than at the top, steers light to a viewer’s eyes by switching light-emitting diodes along its bottom edge on and off. Combined with a backlight, this makes it possible to show different images to different viewers, or to create a stereoscopic (3-D) effect by presenting different images to a person’s left and right eye. “What’s so special about this lens is that it allows us to control where the light goes,” says Steven Bathiche, director of Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group.

3-D technology has seen a renaissance recently. Thanks to the success of movies like Coraline, Up, and Avatar, Hollywood is spending more money than ever to give audiences a stereoscopic experience. And electronics manufacturers are racing to replicate the 3-D theater experience in the home. The market for 3-D-capable televisions is expected to grow from 2.5 million sets shipped in 2010 to 27 million in 2013, according to the research firm DisplaySearch. However, the glasses required to watch 3-D video is a turnoff for many would-be early adopters.

Read more here… (TechnologyReviewer.com)

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