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Kodak unveils 3D immersive display

17 Mar 2004

Imaging giant Kodak claims that video-game players and computer modellers alike will benefit from its new 3D display.

Eastman Kodak, US, has become the latest firm to unveil a three-dimensional display. Called the Stereoscopic Imaging Display, Kodak says that three-dimensional images can be viewed without any special glasses and users get the sensation of being part of the image.

The firm unveiled a commercial prototype at this week’s Exhibitor Show 2004 in Las Vegas, US. The system will also be on display at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, US, between 24-26 March.

The prototype boasts a wide, 45 by 36 degree field-of-view and a resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. Kodak says the technology is scalable and suits applications such as oil and gas exploration; molecular and chemical modelling and computer-aided design.

The system relies on a complex chain of optics. It creates a virtual image of two high-resolution LCD displays, one for each eye. The user looks into two 32 mm apertures to view the final image in three dimensions. Although special glasses are not required, the user does have to sit in a particular “sweet spot” to see the 3D effect.

“Our goal was to design a display that would produce an immersive experience for the viewer,” explained Kodak researchers in a conference paper describing the system. “The display system was based upon a monocentric optical design of spherical mirrors and ball lenses and a method of diffusing the light.”

Kodak is currently seeking partners and early-stage customers for the system. The firm says that it will also license the technology to parties interested in integrating it into their products and systems.

Author
Jacqueline Hewett is technology editor on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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