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MIT glasses-free 3D works from many perspectives

New approach to 3D tech could work from multiple points of view and would use less power if the computing load is reduced.

MIT's high-rank 3D approach places a special image over the rear one to create the 3D illusion. MIT

Researchers at MIT have been developing an improved glasses-free 3D display that would be brighter than the Nintendo 3DS, use less battery power, and work from multiple perspectives.

A group working with associate professor Ramesh Raskar at the MIT Media Lab developed a 3D technology called high-rank 3D.

The device would expand the viewing angle of the 3D screen and it would still work when rotated, according to a release yesterday from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The device, described in a paper for SIGGRAPH Asia, improves upon the 3DS parallax barrier technology, a partly opaque screen that helps create the 3D effect without glasses.

The HR3D system, seen in a video below, uses two layers of LCD screens like the 3DS, but the top screen displays a custom image based on the image on the bottom screen instead of relying on large vertical, opaque areas, which block the underlying light and require the batteries to work harder.

"Instead of consisting of a few big, vertical slits, the (HR3D) parallax barrier consists of thousands of tiny slits, whose orientations follow the contours of the objects in the image," MIT said.

"Because the slits are oriented in so many different directions, the 3D illusion is consistent no matter whether the image is upright or rotated 90 degrees."

This know-how could produce 3D devices that use less battery power to produce brighter images that have multiple horizontal and vertical perspectives. The team will try to reduce the computational load needed to pull the trick off.