(Photo of Perspecta Display and radiation oncology data courtesy Rush Univ. Medical Center)
I have returned from the San Jose, Calif. conference that brings together researchers from around the world, united in the view that 3-D imagery should be liberated from the flat surface of your computer and TV screens. Here are some standout accomplishments reported at the SPIE's Stereoscopic Displays & Applications XVIII conference, part of Electronic Imaging 2007:
[Meanwhile, see photos of many years of demonstration sessions, such as 2006.]
- Tom Peterka of Univ. Ill. (Chicago)'s Electronic Visualization Laboratory reviewed the progress of the "Varrier" 3-D display from 2001-2007, a head-tracked parallax barrier system that's evolved through a variety of resolutions up to 55 Megapixels.
- Joel Kollin (U. Wash.) and Avi Hollander (Imprint Interactive) revisited the 1800's work of Wheatstone, discussing their modern use of a simple plane mirror with two LCD monitors to enable an immersive stereo display. Also, Avi reviewed the work of VR for burn victims and veterans suffering PTSD.
- Dr. Ilgner (Aachen) reported on the use of a stereo microscope for various surgeries, using technology from Mike Weismann's Micro Vision.
- Attendees were treated to a two-hour collection of stereo movie shorts that were graciously presented by chairman Andrew Woods. (2006 collection.) This was followed by the annual dinner at a family-style Chinese restaurant. Good eats! (photos of previous years)
- Several groups discussed progress on presenting autostereoscopic 3-D content on mobile devices. Roughly 2 million 3-D cellphones exist in Japan. An Australian firm, DDD, sells the enabling software - the session was chaired by their CTO, Julien Flack.
- Philips reviewed progress on their 9-view switchable 2-D / 3-D lenticular displays which are beginning to find application in European casinos. On view at the demo session, Philips's displays showed at least several inches of depth for a variety of viewpoints.
- Folks from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology continued impressive progress in a highly-multiview display. Their 128-view system incorporated 128 LED-illuminated microprojectors in a staggered arrangement.
- H. Ebisu et al discussed and demonstrated a truly compelling 3-D display in a cellphone from NEC. Cellphones are good homes for few-view displays because the user's hand is able to position the "sweet spot" effectively. The system equalized the horizontal resolution, which is normally halved. (Yes, perhaps one day we'll be watching floating video e-mails and playing 3-D games on our cellphones.)
- Several other posters and presentations of note: Osaka Univ.'s Hisatake et al made a swept-screen volumetric display based on laser excitation of a Lanthanide screen; and Miyazaki et al's work in an unusual scanner-based dual-concave mirror real-image volumetric display.
- In the demonstration session, the Planar StereoMirror was a real standout, as was the NEC cellphone display. Nick Holliman depicted astronomical data in a 30+ view lenticular made by Ocuity.
We didn't demonstrate Perspecta this year, but perhaps in the future we will have some interesting advances in 3-D to share...g-fav