Two ways 3D without 3D glasses could work

No bones about it: I don't like 3D glasses and you don't like 3D glasses. Still, I'm down with 3D, especially if it's done as well as it was in Avatar. It's obvious, then, that there's a big market in delivering the 3D people want to see without those damn 3D glasses.

Three companies are taking two distinct approaches when it comes to delivering shadeless 3D viewing to consumers. The company that stands alone is Sunny Ocean Studios, which is developing a panel that would be fitted to displays and do the work of 3D glasses for you.

3D glasses and shutter shades, respectively, use colored lenses or or shutters synchronized to a display to select what part of a stereoscopic image each eye is seeing. Without them, TVs can still show a viewer a 3D image, but until now that viewer has has to remain seated in one very specific spot. Sunny Ocean is expanding this idea, but the company has managed to produce a panel that sends this stereoscopic image out to 64 places around the television.

Two other companies are taking a different approach involving cameras and an image that follows the viewer. German-based SeeFront has a panel similar to Sunny Ocean's, but it projects the image to only one place, much like early glassless 3D displays. To keep from immobilizing you, a camera atop the TV would keep tabs on where you are, and maneuver the panel in such a way that you'd always enjoy the 3D effect.

Similarly Germany's Fraunhofer Institute has a movable panel of cylindrical lenses that sits in front of a screen. Two cameras associated with the panel pay attention to the viewer's eyes specifically, and the whole plate moves to keep the 3D effect on target.

While these last two approaches are tailored toward one person, they could make a lot of sense on a laptop instead of a big screen, and the presence of advanced cameras could also open up other technologies, such as gesture control.

In the end, what differentiates the first generation of 3DTVs with their successors — such as we had various and improving levels of HD fidelity with HDTVs — may be whether or not your 3DTV requires a pair of glasses or not.

Via PCWorld