NEC's 'glasses-free' 3D TV: double the pixels, double the fun
OK, OK, so the press image is more than a bit fanciful – never was the disclaimer more relevant – but NEC's engineers think they're on to something when it comes to the one thing likely to crack 3D TV in the home: the ability to get dimensional effects without having to wear silly glasses.
The company has come up with an LCD TV with SVGA resolution, using the company's Horizontal Double-Density Pixel structure. Unlike conventional 'naked eye' screens, which rely on the existing vertically-striped pixel structure to deliver 3D, and thus present images in greatly reduced resolution, HDDP uses a horizontally-striped configuration.
In this, each pixel is made up from three sub-pixels, each split in half lengthwise, as illustrated in the 'science bit' above, allowing data for left and right eyes to be shown alternately with no loss of resolution, leaving persistence of vision to do the rest.
The system can also display conventional 2D images, by using pairs of adjacent pixels, and indeed can mix 2D and 3D content on the same screen without viewer-fatigue, according to NEC.
At the moment the screen is a 12.1in (31cm) diagonal monitor, developed from a 2.5in HDDP LCD module originally developed by NEC's Central Research Laboratories for portable devices.
It's thought the initial applications will be in the industrial market, since this is now NEC's main area of interest. Typical applications are thought to be amusement arcades, digital signage and computer-aided design, and medical image analysis.
Then again, Japan already has 3D TV broadcasting, and has since the end of 2007...