Autostereoscopy enables lifelike 3D experiences on monitors and PC displays glasses-free 3D. The new 3D technology is a topic that is becoming increasingly serious, both for TV as well as in the field of game consoles and has already moved almost to the centre of their attention for many manufacturers.
Three-dimensional vision, the stereoscopic image, has also become an important tool in the areas of advertising, marketing and online shopping to cleverly strengthen customer loyalty.
How can I see a three-dimensional image without 3D glasses?
Ever since the Science-Fiction-Epic “Avatar” by James Cameron, 3D cinema has been on everyone’s lips. With so-called shutter or polarisation glasses, stereoscopic vision in front of the cinema screen was made possible and the viewer immersed himself deeply in the film experience.
Let’s start from scratch: The three-dimensional perception is based on the principle that the right and left eye view an object from a slightly different angle. The two slightly different images are then automatically reassembled in the brain to form a single image, which, with the help of the different viewing angles, becomes an autostereoscopic 3D image. The three-dimensional perception that arises from this not only allows the width and height of the object to be seen on displays, but also its depth in space.
Autostereoscopic displays (3D display) allows you to get an impression of depth when watching movies or playing games, provided both eyes work together. What is new with this technique is that 3D glasses are no longer necessary.
There are different techniques that enable three-dimensional viewing on a 3D display. One technique works with parallax barriers. These are aperture grille, whereby the light of individual pixels is shaded differently from different directions in front of the screen. In this way, the right and left eyes each obtain a different image. This image is three dimensionally merged in the brain. In the end, the display itself creates the three dimensionally effect, so that glasses are no longer necessary.
Another technique is the lenticular lens system, which works with a lenticular grid. In this method, the surface of the display is manipulated with tiny structures in such a way that a lenticular grid is created, and the eyes see different images. The term “lenticular” stands for lenticular lens. These are tiny optical lenses or prisms that create a three-dimensional impression.
The number of 3D-capable devices is constantly growing. The Nintendo 3DS console was the first game console with an auto-stereoscopic screen. Thanks to the new technology of the screen, a 3D depth impression was created. But only if you don’t look at the screen from the side. The viewing angle for 3D wasn’t very wide and only worked when the sun wasn’t shining directly on it.
Sony’s PS3s are also offering more and more games in 3D and the Xbox 360 supports some games that feature 3D.
If you want to enjoy three-dimensional images with the PS3, you need a 1.4 HDMI standard, because a 3D image is only created when the right and left eyes are provided with image material independently. Therefore, the transmission technology has to be higher, two films have to be transmitted instead of one, i.e. twice the amount of data, which only HDMI 1.4 can do. Various providers like Nvidia charge for 3DTV, i.e. for playing on TV.
There may also be a problem with 3D imaging on the screen. The so-called ghosting effect brings blurry images in deeper layers or shadow edges.
It will be a while before 3D has established itself in the gaming market and auto-stereoscopic screens can really stir up the market. Manufacturers of auto-stereoscopic monitors are already preparing specifically for this time.
Are there already tablets or other small mobile devices with three-dimensional images?
There are already 3D tablets with autostereoscopic displaya that can be used with glasses free 3D. For example, the Android tablet “No Glasses 3D Tablet” or the smartphone Sharp Aquos Phone SH80F work with a parallax barrier to achieve the 3D impression. Gadmei or HP already have tablets with a 3D display. Of course, we also offer 3D tablets in our Standard Series, which work with glasses-free 3D on a 3D display.
Until recently, autostereoscopic technology was only used on smaller devices such as smartphones or game consoles. Since 2010, the development in the area of 3D cinema and 3D television has taken a rapid progress. 3D TVs are already finding their way into the living room, almost every current TV supports the new standard of an autostereoscopic display, but all of these devices still require 3D glasses.
In 2012, the Toshiba 55ZL2 was the world’s first consumer 3D television, which made autostereoscopic 3D images possible without visual aids for end users. This works with lenticular lenses. A camera in the TV finds out where the light is being sent by detecting the viewer’s head position.
However, autostereoscopic televisions today still do not deliver the same quality as models that require 3D glasses. Another problem is that inexperienced viewers may experience problems with watching glasses-free 3D on autostereoscopic displays. The lens of the eye is focused by the brain not on the perceived depth of the object, but on the distance of the display. This can cause eye and headaches for some people.
Cinema with glasses-free 3D – is that already technically possible and how does it work?
Cinema 3D without 3D glasses is already partly possible today. The technology behind it works with the principle of a parallax barrier. For this purpose, a multitude of parallax barriers are generated, which are suitable for every viewer. The range of the image is increased by the many lenses and mirrors.
Unfortunately, this method still has a low resolution and a high required brightness. However, the producers of the laser projectors are working intensively on new methods.
“Autostereoscopy Avatar 2” – what does this buzzword have to do with the 3D process?
James Cameron’s new film “Avatar 2”, scheduled for release at the end of 2020, also uses autostereoscopic 3D technology. This works thanks to laser-based autostereoscopic technology, without 3D glasses. James Cameron’s production company has extended its cooperation with the laser projector manufacturer for five years.
Already “Avatar – Departure to Pandora”, which was shot with stereoscopy, brought sales records at the box office, “Avatar 2” should continue this success by using an even better technology for the 3D experience.
Autostereoscopic images are also used in online shops for advertising purposes and product configuration. Through a 3D visualization, the product can be made more perceptible to the customer and can be tailored exactly to the needs of the user.
The exact and individual parameters of a product, such as a trouser measurements, can be displayed very precisely with the 3D configurator. The focus can be placed on a specific parameter of the product, the customer can try it out at will and determine the best choice for him personally.
There are some interesting aspects that make a 3D product configurator at the PoS interesting: If the individual configurability of the product is linked to the ordering process, the perfectly tailored product can be delivered immediately without the need for intensive individual consultation. In this way, detailed advice on the product can even be completely omitted. Efficiency is increased by running all sales processes without media discontinuity. In addition, individual configurability also reduces complaints. A modification of these possibilities is also suitable for online shopping in combination with a suitable 3D web viewer.
The product configurator with autostereosscopic screen also creates strong customer loyalty. The customer gets a more personal touch with the product and the visualization helps him to understand complex products better.
Due to the frequently tried components, the offer can be improved even further. These are just a few important aspects that make a 3D product configurator interesting for in-store shopping.
With 3D media you can literally make images float. No matter whether it is an analog hologram poster or a digital moving image (3D screens), the advertising message can fly up to one metre towards the viewer, which naturally makes a powerful impression and is guaranteed to remain in the memory.
The fascinating 3D effect works completely without glasses on a 3D display, and the retention time is naturally correspondingly long. The autostereoscopic display allows a great depth of space and an amazing visual experience.
Marketers are naturally enthusiastic about this advertising measure, because the 3D effect generates a high level of attention and achieves an above-average viewing time of 40 seconds, as studies in this field have shown. The visibility is very good regardless of the lighting conditions. The stelae can be used individually.
The advertising industry is enthusiastic about the new technology of autosterescopic displays because of the high level of attention that the posters can generate. Fraunhofer HHI is also already researching 3D techniques for various applications. Anyone who uses autostereoscopy and an autostereoscopic screen today will certainly be one step ahead in the future. You can also test our professional 3D viewers and 3D configurators for online shops, e-commerce or product presentations on the company website, with which virtual changing rooms are also possible.