Prototype display enables viewers to watch a 3-D movie from any seat in a theater.
3-D movies immerse us in new worlds and allow us to see places and things in ways that we otherwise couldn’t. But behind every 3-D experience is something that is uniformly despised: those goofy glasses.
Fortunately, there may be hope. In a new paper, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have demonstrated a display that lets audiences watch 3-D films in a movie theater without extra eyewear.
Dubbed “Cinema 3D,” the prototype uses a special array of lenses and mirrors to enable viewers to watch a 3-D movie from any seat in a theater.
“Existing approaches to glasses-free 3-D require screens whose resolution requirements are so enormous that they are completely impractical,” says MIT professor Wojciech Matusik, one of the co-authors on a related paper whose first author is Weizmann PhD Netalee Efrat. “This is the first technical approach that allows for glasses-free 3-D on a large scale.”
While the researchers caution that the system isn’t currently market-ready, they are optimistic that future versions could push the technology to a place where theaters would be able to offer glasses-free alternatives for 3-D movies.