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Is Glasses-free 3D Cinema Coming Soon?

A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have demonstrated a display that lets audiences watch 3D stereoscopic films in a movie theater without extra eyewear. Dubbed “Cinema 3D,” the prototype uses a special array of lenses and mirrors to enable viewers to watch a 3-D movie from any seat in a theater. Details and video description here under.

MIT3D 640px

Cinema 3D Video

How It Works

What Cinema 3D does, then, is encode multiple parallax barriers in one display, such that each viewer sees a parallax barrier tailored to their position. That range of views is then replicated across the theater by a series of mirrors and lenses within Cinema 3D’s special optics system.

Far from the market

Cinema 3D isn’t particularly practical at the moment: The team’s prototype requires 50 sets of mirrors and lenses, and yet is just barely larger than a pad of paper. But, in theory, the technology could work in any context in which 3-D visuals would be shown to multiple people at the same time, such as billboards or storefront advertisements. Matusik says that the team hopes to build a larger version of the display and to further refine the optics to continue to improve the image resolution.

The work was funded by the Israel Science Foundation and the European Research Council ; the full paper is presentd at SIGGRAPH 2016.   

Source: TechCrunch, MITNews.