American computer experts in California’s Silicon Valley think that within the next 5-10 years all the displays we use in daily life will become 3D – televisions, computers, laptops, mobile phones, and games consoles will all be able to show 3D images. Next-generation computers may even have built-in stereo cameras for video chats, and 3D camcorders will be available at consumer prices.
Nvidia is just one company developing 3D. Basically you have to show slightly different images to each eye, so that the brain is tricked into thinking that a flat image actually has depth. So the company has developed special glasses that can be used with a computer to watch movies or play games. This model has signal emitter that is received by the 3D glasses.
Says Phil Eisler, 3D expert: “There are different methods of doing 3D. The oldest one is the red green glasses, the paper glasses you probably remember going back to the 1950s. The problem with that is that it only gives you half the colour per eye, so you get a distorted colour when you’re in 3D mode. The newer methods are the sequential frame active glasses, such as the ones from Nvidia, the 3D vision glasses which give you full resolution and full colour per eye, and there is another method called micropolarised, which polarizes the light into left and right.”
Toshiba is also developing 3D television, and Hitachi and Nintendo already offer products for handheld devices.
In the coming editions of Hi Tech we’ll be exploring all these developments, reporting from the IFA in Berlin, the biggest consumer electronics show in Europe.