HP developing 3D for mobile devices

Researchers are well on their way to creating 3D images that can be seen from multiple angles without the need for special glasses. Using multi-directional diffractive backlight technology, scientists have been able to render full parallax 3D images in a zone up to 180 degrees and up to one metre away.

Simply, this is done by projecting varied 2D images into different regions of space. As the viewer moves around the display, they will perceive a succession of different image stereo pairs, creating the illusion of continuous motion parallax. The method was invented by Intelligent Infrastructure Lab and has been developed in partnership with the Continuous 3D research group at HP Labs.

Staff at HP Labs said their research goals around 3D display technology have ultimately targeted mobile applications, given their rise in popularity. They said their aim is to develop a mobile 3D display technology that is power efficient and offers a good image quality at a close distance.

Obvious commercial applications that could benefit from the technology include 3D mapping, medical telepresence as well as interactive modeling for the construction, design and architecture industries.

The team’s discovery of the technology came somewhat indirectly; they had been studying problems associated with optical interconnect and coupling light in and out of photonics chips. During their work it occurred to them that a controlled lightfield could be used to create similar technology.