Microsoft claims superior glasses-free 3D

Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group claims to have developed a viewer tracking system that allows glasses-free 3D visuals. The breakthrough, reported on MIT’s Technology Review, utilises a wedge-shaped lens to show 3D footage to two people or 2D footage to four people. Microsoft have also suggested the technology could be used to create switchable privacy screens that provide broad viewing angles for multiple users and a private mode for one user.

The MIT Technology Review says the display uses a lens, which is thinner at the bottom than at the top, to steer light to the viewer by switching light emitting diodes along its bottom edge on and off. Combined with the screen’s backlight and a camera to track viewers, the display can show different images to a person’s left and right eye to create a 3D visual. Alternatively it can show different images to different people.

Furthermore, the lens is thin enough (11mm thick at the top and 6mm at the bottom) to be incorporated into a standard LCD. Microsoft is currently talking to LCD manufacturers in attempt to make faster displays that could potentially allow more users to view the panel.

Microsoft says the technology is superior to other glasses-free solutions, which use lenticular lenses, because the viewer does not have to stand in a designated area.

The breakthrough could launch 3D displays into the digital signage space, an area that has struggled to take up other systems that rely on glasses.

For a more in-depth view on the technology read the Technology Review article or watch the video.