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Microsoft’s 3-D display without the glasses

Microsoft’s 3-D screen can project multiple images simultaneously. Here it is projecting a block of red and a block of blue onto a screen two meters away.

Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group is working on a new type of lens that may send 3D TV’s worst accessory packing. “The new lens, which’s thinner at the bottom and top, steers light to a viewer’s eyes by switching light-emitting diodes along its bottom edge on & off. Combined with a backlight, this makes it possible to show different images to different viewers, or to create a stereoscopic (3-D) effect by presenting different images to a person’s left and right eye. “What’s so special about this lens is that it allows us to control where the light goes,” says Steven Bathiche.

Microsoft’s prototype display can deliver 3-D video to two viewers at the same time (one video for each individual eye), regardless of where they’re positioned. It can also shows ordinary 2-D video to up to four people simultaneously (one video for each person). 3-D display uses a camera to track viewers so that it knows where to steer light toward them. The lens is also thin, which means it could be incorporated into a standard liquid crystal display, says Bathiche.


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