The Advent of the 3D Phone
Maybe you had been wondering, as I had, what would be the next exciting addition to the cell phone's box of tricks.
Well it's here..3D cell phones....
When I announced this to my son he smartly replied, "aren't all cell-phones" 3D ? As you can see sarcasm runs in the family!
No, apparently it's more than that, the picture you see on your screen is actually in three dimensions, and no throw away blue and red paper glasses required.
I'll attempt to expalin how these new innovations came to be and how they work without blowing a fuse in my cranium in the process.
Three Dimensional Viewing in the Olden Days
The Ancient Greek Mathematician Euclid discovered the principles of binocular vision.
The first popular 3D viewers were called stereoscopes, or stereopticons, and were very popular in the later 1800s ad early 1900s. They were made of wood and came in many designs.
The stereo card placed into the machine composed of 2 photographs of he same view, which were taken from two slightly different angles that corresponded to the distance between your eyes.
This gives the illusion of depth when viewed through the eyepieces at a precise distance from the pictures.
About 30 Years Ago came Along this Plastic Pal?
The View Master..a binocular version of the three 3 viewer, allowed yo to view the same picture from two slightly different angles and feel like you were really there!!
The slides came in packs, on circular "reels" so that you could show you favourite stories.."almost" like a 3D movie...whooooohoooo!!
These things are still popular for the kids of today, and make great stocking fillers!
- Vistascreen Stereo Viewers (inc. Weetabix), the Australian View-A-Scope and Empire Made Viewer
Another format was an English fversion of stereo viewer from the 1950's. These were popularised when Weetabix created a set of cards to be viewed using a specially branded version of the viewer
The Next Step in Technology
Obviously the next step would be to transfer this exciting technology to our new smart phones....looking at the previous verions it almost seems simple...
A simple version of the 3D phone
This version of a three D phone is a bit of a cheat really, based a little around the vistascreen
It involves three different flat complementary images of different sizes
A special viewer is used to split the images and reflect them into your eyes as you look into the eyepieces.
So...it's not strictly 3D more like layers of 2D.
Still impressive to view though.
The techie terms for the new superphones
Screens that can be viewed without 3D glasses use what's called autostereoscopic display technology.
Apparently there are two aspects of the technology that allow three dimensional images to be viewed glasses free:
- lenticular display
- parallax barrier
This type of display works best at a distance with larger display.
Remember in the 70's when we started getting those stickers in a breakfast cereal that when tilted and moved around seemed to display movement? That's the general concept.
By this method the eye can see two LCD screen images at once,which are offset from each other very slightly..basically in the same way each of your eyes view put together a scene in reality.
The display depends on a display film being coated with "lenticular" film. On the base of this film are tiny "lenticles" which are individual lenses. The screen displays two versions of the same image, but only one image is seen by each eye, resulting in the illusion of depth.
The parallax barrier is better for up-close viewing on cell-phone screens that are smaller (and is even used on new style Nintendo game machines).
A screen with a switch-able parallax barrier has a series of tiny precision slits that split the image into left and right versions.
This type of screen can also switch between a 3D and 2D display by passing current through the liquid crystal sandwich to make it transparent.
- FinePix REAL 3D W3 | features - Expanded World of View 3D | Fujifilm USA
Feature sheet for the FinePix REAL 3D W3 explains the technology
So what happens in your brain?
By each method you left eye and your right eye see slightly different versions of the same scene.
The brain, being the amazing super processor that it is, assembles the information so that it makes sense and the result is and image in three dimensions that appear to project right out of the the screen at you.
Other examples of 3D phones
- HTC EVO 3D Product Overview - HTC Smartphones
Now your photos can have as much depth as the moment itself. HTC EVO 3D captures your photos and videos in 3D, plus you can view them without the glasses. The stunning 4.3-inch QHD display gives you crisp websites, vivid images and incredibly fluid
- LG Cell Phones | Mobile Phones, Optimus Phones, Touch Screen Phones | LG Electronics Canada
View all LG cell phones, past and present, including the latest cell phones from LG. Discover the cell phone that fits your life exclusively from LG Electronics.
No doubt this is the next new thing that the kids will bu putting on their Christmas list.
I know we don't really need more toys but it seems our inquisitve and adaptive minds have once again thought of a new version of old entertainment.
An instruction manual to help you unravel the workings of one of the new 3D phones
Feeling ambitious: try making your own 3D games.