Consider this, you sit down in the living room and pick up a video game controller right as your spouse grabs the remote for the latest episode of Eureka. Who wins? Soon we may have a true compromise. While 3D TVs that use Active Shutter Glasses are all the rage now, they’re actually leading to some pretty interesting ideas, especially as it relates to multiple images on a single display.
To start, let’s look at how these shutter glasses work. Your eyes need to see about 60 frames per second of a video for a video to be perceived as smooth. 3D TV’s show 120 frames per second, while shutter glasses turn each eye on and off so that your right eye sees every even frame, and your left eye sees every odd frame. This results in a unique visual for each eye, shifted slightly to give a 3D effect.
So what happens if we tweak the glasses to blink both eyes at the same time? You would get a 2D image at 60 frames per second. Now picture owning two pairs of these glasses, one for even frames, and one for odd. Suddenly you can watch two shows, at the same time, on the same screen. While this may seem like a “neat” idea, Microsoft has taken things a few steps further with their latest prototypes.
Last month, Technology Review wrote a story on this new device which actually aims the light from the display at your eyes. It works like this:
- Two people sit in front of a TV.
- Four cameras activate on the TV, and use facial tracking to find the eyes of each of the viewers.
- Using a tapered lens, light is projected through the lens and directly towards each eye of each viewer.
- The Result: Two people, watching two different 3D shows, no matter what viewing angle they sit at.
Apparently the system can also support viewing four unique 2D images among four viewers as well. And if you think this is cool, wait until you see Sony’s 360 degree display. Soon we’ll be receiving messages from Mom dressed like Obi Wan from the Droid in the kitchen.