Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

The Future of Televisions?

July 18, 2010 Leave a comment

3D as a medium has been around for quite a while. I remember that there were these dinosaur magazines that i used to collect as a child that sometimes came with those cheap red and blue 3D glasses in order to see the cool 3D dinosaur pictures, but even then the technology was quite old. 3D cinemas have been around since the 50s and the concept of 3D televisions are quite old as well. But for some reason, ever since Avatar, everyone (electronics companies mostly) are trying to sell us on the idea of 3D televisions, just a mere years after they convinced us that HD televisions were a good idea. On top of that, they charge ridiculously high prices for the pair of 3D glasses that every person watching that the TV needs.

I feel that this trend has arrived a couple of years too early for the general public. Sure, the early adopters will eat it up, but they also buy phones that are incapable of having a signal long enough to make a phone call. I will be keeping my television for some time. For me, 3D isn’t all that much of a thing, and I saw Avatar in 3D and 2D. 😛

But today I saw something that intrigued me and opened up possibilities for more uses of the 3D glasses than just simulating depth perception. Today I read an article about some of Sony newly filed patents, US20100177172 and US20100177174, and after reading the patents I got more optimistic about the development of televisions.

The patent describes a system in which one can use one display to successfully show several feeds at the same time to different individuals using the provided “shutter glasses”. The system sends out the video feed in sequences that are matched with the shutter glasses in a way that one individual sees one feed while the other sees the other feed. The patents illustrate this far better than I can describe it, so I urge you to at least have a quick look at them.

With this system split-screen multiplayer modes on games are a thing of the past, since every player gets a full-screen experience.But the system still has one problem, the fact that spectators will need to have their own pair of glasses in order to probably not get a headache from watching the screen. But since the glasses fill more function than just being able to see the screen in 3D then maybe people might feel that it’s worth it. The system also gives the user the option to see in 3D or in regular 2D so that someone may be playing a 3D game while the others are watching TV.

My guess would be that there will be a limit to how many feeds can be shown at the same time. That number would then be halved if they are all 3D feeds, since the 3D feeds take up two “slots” in the sequence, one for the right eye and one for the left.

I saw another article a while back that was about another 3D television system, by Microsoft, that was completely free of glasses. The idea was based around a special screen and a camera. The camera detected how many people were in front of the television and where they were aligned. The screen then steers light to the viewer’s eyes by switching light-emitting diodes along its bottom edge on and off. The system can then send two different images to the viewer’s left and right eye, creating a autostereoscopic 3D effect. This system could, just as the Sony patent, send different video feeds to different viewers, but the problem then would be how to transfer the sound to each person. At this moment the prototype is able to send 3D feeds to one or two individuals or send 2D feeds to up to four individuals, but who knows what that can be expanded to.

It’s fun to see the new technology that is being developed, especially the above mentioned technologies. The idea of 3D televisions and holograms have been around forever in our culture, most common in sci-fi, but these new systems seem to break off from the mold and come up from seemingly nowhere. Who could have pictured that by looking at the same screen, different people could see different things. One may wonder what will come after these steps.

Well that’s it for now, I’ve already written more than I should. Bye! //Saligia