Innovation That Matters

3D cinemas without the glasses

Publishing & Media

Researchers at MIT's CSAIL develop a screen with a series of slits that create optimized 3D views from various angles, paving the way for 3D cinema screens.

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The cinema experience continues to evolve, as we saw with the world’s first virtual reality cinema, and now researchers have developed screens that could enable a 3D cinematic experience without the need for cumbersome glasses.

While household 3D TV screens feature slits that trick the eye into perceiving depth, the technology is difficult to scale to widescreen cinemas, where viewers watch from a variety of angles. Cinema 3D, developed by CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) at MIT, overcomes this issue by using a series of mirrors and lenses. Using the parameters of each viewer’s headrest, the Cinema 3D system is able to direct an equally effective depth perception towards each individual. While currently in small-scale development, a paper published jointly with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel claims that scaling up the technology will eventually result in glasses-free 3D cinematic experiences.

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