Friday, August 31, 2007

Wish your HDTV could do this?

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How long before this technology becomes a reality? USC Institute for Creative Technologies has developed a 360 degree 3-D display. And, by the looks of it, the final product isn't going to be short of stunning. Unfortunately, I'm not experienced enough to advise on whether you should hold on to the cash you saved for that new HDTV this Christmas - or the next one.

Silent video of the display in action:

For the more technically inclined, I post the abstract from the Official USC Page here:

We describe a set of rendering techniques for an autostereoscopic light field display able to present interactive 3D graphics to multiple simultaneous viewers 360 degrees around the display. The display consists of a high-speed video projector, a spinning mirror covered by a holographic diffuser, and FPGA circuitry to decode specially rendered DVI video signals. The display uses a standard programmable graphics card to render over 5,000 images per second of interactive 3D graphics, projecting 360-degree views with 1.25 degree separation up to 20 updates per second. We describe the system's projection geometry and its calibration process, and we present a multiple-center-of-projection rendering technique for creating perspective-correct images from arbitrary viewpoints around the display. Our projection technique allows correct vertical perspective and parallax to be rendered for any height and distance when these parameters are known, and we demonstrate this effect with interactive raster graphics using a tracking system to measure the viewer's height and distance. We further apply our projection technique to the display of photographed light fields with accurate horizontal and vertical parallax. We conclude with a discussion of the display's visual accommodation performance and discuss techniques for displaying color imagery.
This new display is also published in SIGGRAPH 2007, just like this image resizing patent discussed in an earlier post.

Hopefully the core people behind this 3-D display will also get acquired by a big company (like Sony?), just like Adobe acquired Shai Avidan (mentioned here). And I hope that's not just wishful thinking.

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