Next Thursday, HP will have a paper published in the Scientific Journal Nature
about a new screen it has developed for mobile devices that offers 3D images without requiring the user to wear glasses. Now before you start sputtering and turning different colors, yes we are certainly aware that LG and HTC have already released smartphones that offered glasses-free 3D screens. The LG Optimus 3D
(known as the LG Thrill 4G
for AT&T) and the HTC EVO 3D
were once considered to be on the vanguard of a whole new trend. But users complained of getting headaches
and the whole 3D thing never really caught on although Nintendo's portable 3DS gaming system continues to sell well.
So what is the big deal about HP's accomplishment? Actually, it is a big deal because it might eliminate the headaches that some users were getting with the screen. The problem with the technology used to produce LG and HTC's phones was that it forced the user to stare straight ahead to see the 3D image. That concentration brought on some of the pounding headaches that forced users to switch phones. HP's new discovery allows the user to be positioned at as much as a 45 degree angle
in any direction to the screen and still see the images in 3D. HP scientists used nanotechnology to etch into the glass, multiple circles with tiny grooves. The grooves bend light into 64 points of view. As a user views the screen and moves it, he will see two of these points at one time, one with the left eye and one with the right, creating the 3D effect.
As you might expect with a bunch of scientists, especially if you watch The Big BangTheory
, the discovery was put into a language that the scientific community could understand. The article's lead author, David Fattal, compared the effect to the hologram of Princess Leia
from the classic Star Wars
. Fattal said that the image won't pop out as much as Princess Leia's did in the movie. And speaking of motion pictures, don't expect the technique to be used for filming movies. While 3D images can be created using computer animation, to use this technique for live action would require 64 cameras pointed at the same subject.