IBM 3D TV

Nov 11, 2005 feature
3D glasses

International Business Machines, a worldwide leader in technology innovation, has announced a new and affordable 3D video system that works with normal DLP (Digital Light Processing) televisions. Before now, 3D video systems would set you back at least $1,800 while the price of IBM’s new system is expected to be only $1000 – if only a grand sounds cheap to you.

This “black box” device can be connected to any DLP projector or television via the common VESA (Video Experts Standards Association) 3 pin stereo connector.

IBM demonstrated the new system on a 50-inch, flat-screen Texas Instruments rear-projection digital television at the 22nd annual Flat Information Displays conference held in San Francisco this month.

"This was on the drawing board for about two years and now we're at the conceptual proof-of-concept stage. We are here to look for a manufacturing partner to bring the technology to market," said Jim Santoro, a technology license program manager from IBM's office in Poughkeepsie near IBM’s corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York.

IBM tends to develop cutting edge technology and then license it to third party manufactures rather than build and sell finished products. This strategy allows them to keep pouring funds in to basic research and cutting edge technology. It also permits wide dissemination of it’s technologies throughout the industry increasing chances for permanent adoption over competing technologies.

Exact details concerning the 3D technology – still unnamed – were not forthcoming, but the company spokesperson said it was compatible with OpenGL and Direct Draw – both software components of the Microsoft Windows operating system that allow programmers to manipulate video for computer games.

While 3D monitors and projectors have been around for a few years, IBM’s approach is the first to use a single projector to simulate both left and right views needed to form 3D image. Normal 3D units need two projectors.

IBM has managed to alternate the video frames to give the appearance of double projectors without the added cost. This means adding video frames – lots of them. While normal “live” video is 30 frames per second, this device processes 144fps. First you see the frames from the left and then the right perspective giving the image an authentic three dimensional look.

While technical details are scare, the device obviously uses some serious video processing hardware to build the 3D image: 144fps video is far beyond the capacity of almost all computer graphics cards.

On the downside, you still need 3D glasses to correctly view the image and practically no video is shot in 3D as it requires more expensive cameras, but as price drops and general interest rises, this is sure to change.

Some sports TV networks have expressed interest in filming NFL games in 3D. To shoot in 3D, TV networks would need to install expensive 3D cameras and image processing hardware.

The OpenGL and Direct Draw compatibility is definitely aimed at software developers who make games – computer gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry. Imagine being able to play Halo 2 in 3D – VERY cool. The technology also lends its self to the creation of high end presentation software – think 3D Power Point.

While this technology is definitely more economical than current models and its PC compatibility may usher in a host of 3D games, it still may become obsolete with the introduction of the holy grail of 3D displays – inexpensive models that do not require funky glasses. Now that would truly be something.

by Chuck Rahls, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com
Image source: edimensional.com

Explore further: Review: New HTC One phone is strong contender

Related Stories

Using 19th century technology to time travel to the stars

14 hours ago

In the late 19th century, astronomers developed the technique of capturing telescopic images of stars and galaxies on glass photographic plates. This allowed them to study the night sky in detail. Over 500,000 ...

Panoramas for your tablet

Mar 25, 2015

Most people are familiar with the fictional world of 'Star Trek,' in which the characters can use a holodeck to create and interact with virtual worlds. It is possible to recreate a similar effect in the ...

Fitness app connects exercisers to experts

Mar 24, 2015

Can advanced networking and next-generation applications help solve some of our nation's most pressing health problems? Can mobile devices and high-speed Internet be used to improve our health and well-being? ...

Recommended for you

Windows Insiders can try out Project Spartan browser

1 hour ago

Microsoft has opened up the (literal) windows, called in creatives, and has been engineering a next-generation browser. Project Spartan is to reflect the general mood of fresh air at Redmond. Although "Project ...

Huawei reports 2014 profit up 33 percent

1 hour ago

Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of the world's biggest makers of telecommunications equipment, said Tuesday its 2014 profit rose 33 percent, helped by strong sales of smartphones.

New taxi app challenges Uber in S.Korea

1 hour ago

South Korea's top mobile messenger operator launched a new web-based cab-hailing service Tuesday to compete with California-based Uber, whose service has been subjected to crackdowns from state regulators.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.