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A new type of 3D screen from NTT

Are two LCD screens better than one? At the very least, the effect is more natural than in some other no-glasses 3D systems.

CHIBA, Japan--NTT, Japan's telecommunications giant, with help from Hitachi Displays has come out with a 3D LCD screen that doesn't require eyeglasses and doesn't cause eye strain.

3D for thee Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

Called SpaceIllusion, the LCD screen basically consists of two LCDs sandwiched 10 millimeters apart. The two screens carry slightly different images but the overall effect to the viewer is that 2D images go 3D. Study the accompanying picture and you can see how the two images differ.

"This 3D TFT LCD displays images without physiological unnaturalness in comparison with conventional 3D glasses type of screens," the company said in its accompanying literature.

The 3D effect is optimized when you sit about a meter away. You can also flip off the 3D effect to make the screen show 2D images. The company showed it off at Ceatec, the large Japanese trade show here.

I watched it for a while and the effect was somewhat convincing. And it did feel more natural than in some other no-glasses 3D systems. In those--from Philips, Sanyo and Sharp--the pixels in a single screen are divided up. Some send images to one eye and the rest send images to the second eye. The images are slightly different and create a 3D image. You sometimes get jagged contours with those screens.

Those one-screen systems, however, are far more advanced in development. Philips has 42-inch screens and is talking to hotels and casinos about installing the screens. NTT's is a prototype and smaller.