3D TV in three years?

Written by Brett Thomas

September 20, 2006 // 5:59 p.m.

Tags: #3d #european-commission #hologram #television

A news bite provided from our friendly forumite jazzle:

Wearing 3D glasses may be a thing of the past - 3D television could be in some homes within as little as three years, according to a European research consortium.

According to the consortium, which is sponsored by the European Commission, the technology for genuine holographic films is already around. It would not require the funny red and blue glasses we all think of, though - holographic projection would allow people to watch the show in 3D, like actors on a stage. The concept could redefine the ideas of both theatre and television, says spokesman Levent Onural.

Onural is co-ordinator of the multinational 3DTV network, which features over 200 researchers from across Europe. Though he doubts such optimism as "within three years" for holographic television, he has no lack of faith that the technology will get out there...and he says it will provide the ultimate viewing experience.

For example, take a football game," he says. "Viewers would be able to look at a TV that will be like a coffee table and see small-scale real football players made up from light running around on that table."

"We do think holographic 3D TV is feasible, but the technology is not in place yet. If you ask my opinion, it will take another 10 years to get there, but some say it will take 14 to 20 years."

While developing this technology, the consortium is looking into lower-end tech to bridge the gap. Stereoscopic TV, which produces the illusion of depth instead of a genuine holographic image, could find its way into your living room within three years. The technology has been around for a while, and is starting to become popular with amusement parks - but it causes some intense motion sickness in many people, which is a kink that must be worked out before it becomes widespread.

Stereoscopic vision is the technology most often associated with "3d video," and usually requires those funny glasses to be seen properly. In order to prevent glasses from being required, the consortium has developed a special screen. This screen focuses the light for the depth illusion right at the TV or cinema screen, eliminating the need for everyone's favorite fashion statements.

All said and done, it could be an interesting decade for television and film. One has to wonder, then, how long it would be before computers operated similarly, and we could start playing our games in ways we never thought possible.

Have you got a thought on this? Let us hear it in our forums. But put away those ridiculous glasses...they're so 1980s.

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