stereoscopy

Maybe I need to correct myself. I said 2009 is going to be important but probably not a breakthrough year for 3D vision using stereoscopy.

This month I saw a lot of marketing in the online and offline media. Early this month a German boulevard newspaper had the main title on their front page saying that the 'nex-gen TV' is going to be 3D-capable and connected to the Internet.

Online I saw on a lot of places the marketing results from NVidia and IZ3D. IZ3D says to have "the first 3d display for gamers".

It's a passive display that requires glasses. It's a bit of the usual PR blahblah ecause X3D had an stereoscopic display aiming for gamers a couple of years ago! With ~1000€ it was affordable for enthusiasts but still too pricey for the mass market. That iZ3D 22" display is around ~400$ – thus more likely to be a mass product. Still it makes it not the "world's first designed for gamers" A key difference is that the IZ3D is using passive stereo, thus you are required to use polarized glasses, but probably also cut costs.

Maybe you remember the active shutter glasses that came with ELSA gfx cards at the end of 90ies. The problem with them is mainly the frequency and – back then and probably today too – they created headaches as the frequency of screens were/are at 60 Hz and it gets halfed, so it gives you a refresh-rate of 30 Hz – which is not enough for a smooth perception. Today there are some displays that go at 120 Hz.
Passive displays don't alternate pictures but show both at the same time. The polarized glasses act as filter, so each eye just gets one image. Usually if you roll your head too much to the sides, the separation gets lost and you get some "ghosting" or even both pictures. But I think it's less a problem than auto-stereoscopic displays where you usually need to be at a specific angle on the horizontal axis.

NVIDA has now new glasses – they are active and they are able to sync to 120 Hz. They refer to 120 Hz displays from Samsung and ViewSonic. There is also Sony experimenting. Same for Panasonic and plenty other companies … !

We have two autostereoscopic displays in our offices. An old one, single-view, and a more recent one with 5 views.