Now, watch 3D videos without special glasses

Thursday, November 4, 2010

LONDON - Scientists have invented a gadget that allows viewers to watch 3D videos without special glasses.

The breakthrough could revolutionise TV, movies and computer games - and see the introduction of 3D advertising billboards on street corners.

It could even be used to create 3D maps and allow surgeons perform operations while remaining hundreds of kilometres away from patients.

The invention, called holographic telepresence, is the brainchild of researchers at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences in the US, reports the Daily Mail.

Nasser Peyghambarian, who led the research, said: “This advance brings us a step closer to the ultimate goal of realistic holographic telepresence with high resolution, full colour, human sized, 3D images,” according to a University of Arizona release.

“Holographic telepresence means we can record a three-dimensional image in one location and show it in another location, in real-time, anywhere in the world.”

The prototype uses a 10-inch screen made from a new type of photorefractive material that can refresh a hologram every two seconds.

The image is recorded using an array of normal cameras, each of which views the object from a different point of angle.

The information is then encoded onto a fast-pulsed laser beam which interferes with another beam of light, creating an interference pattern which is written into the photorefractive material - creating the three dimensional image.

The hologram fades away naturally after a couple of seconds or minutes, or it can be erased by recording a new 3D image and storing it on the screen.

The most famous example of telepresence in movies appears in the original Star Wars when the droid R2D2 projects a holographic image of Princess Leia delivering a call for help.

Earlier this year, electronics giant Toshiba unveiled a 3D TV that works without glasses. However, the viewer has to sit close to the screen for the effect to work.

Filed under: Science and Technology

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