Sony Unveils 360-Degree 3D Display (w/ Video)

October 22, 2009 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Sony 3D display
Sony's prototype 3D display presents images that can be viewed from 360 degrees. Credit: Sony.

( -- Today at the DC Expo in Tokyo, Sony has introduced a new 3D display that can be viewed from any direction. Unlike many 3D displays, the new display does not require glasses to view the 3D images, and several people can view the display simultaneously from multiple angles.

The cylindrical display case is 27 cm tall with a base of 13 cm in diameter, and features a 96 by 128-pixel resolution that looks better than might be expected. The screen displays 3D objects including a cartoon character, car, globe, and people. Sony created these objects either in 3D on a computer or by taking photographs of them from various angles. The result is that the objects appear to have depth, and can be viewed from any angle on the horizontal plane by walking around the display screen.

Sony is not explaining how the technology works, other than mentioning that it uses an LED light source. The company said that it took about three years to develop the two prototypes that are on display at the DC Expo, and it hopes to make versions with larger screens in the next year or so.

The 360-degree 3D display could have a variety of applications in education and entertainment, and vice chairman Ryoji Chubachi said the company will listen to application ideas from visitors. There are currently no plans to market the device until applications are developed.

via: Network World

© 2009

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1.3 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2009
The problem I have with technology like this is as follows:

It just looks like a 3d image being projected onto a 2d surface. Even though this might actually be '3D' it does not look like it. Its not that impressive.
Oct 22, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
3 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2009
The result is that the objects appear to have depth
each eye views the display from slightly different angles so you would see it as 3D at least from a horizontal plane, right? Maybe a suspended sphere for full top and bottom views, but I assume that would require a lot more data to produce. Sorry to 2 you my finger slipped-
4.5 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2009
unless you were there you *are* viewing it in 2D on a 2D surface which might be one of the reasons that it looks that way.
4 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2009
The problem I have with technology like this is as follows:

It just looks like a 3d image being projected onto a 2d surface. Even though this might actually be '3D' it does not look like it. Its not that impressive.

Did you get the part where he said 'it's a prototype'?
There have been a lot of 3D display technologies developed in the past 20 years, this is just another one, probably based on a spinning disk inside that gets very precise illumination at specific points while the disk spins. If so, they are the latest in a long string of such developments.
There is another kind that uses a flexible mirror membrane that is vibrated by a loudspeaker coil which varies the focal length dynamically and laser pulses give much the same effect although with that technology you can't walk around it, the effect is directional but very effective in its angular range.
4 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2009
This is far from the first 3D display, but it is the first I have seen that is not holographic. Seems a simpler technology with the benefit of a more opaque image. My only qualm is that I'd prefer a spherical display over a cylindrical one. Though a little touch sensitivity so that you can rotate the display from a seated position rather than walking around it would likely be appreciated by many.
not rated yet Oct 23, 2009
Nice this means we can have normal TV's with variable Depth
4 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2009
Cool I agree more sphere like would rock and Tv shows built around the idea of this would be neat.

Also the part of the screen you actualy watch has to be fairly small compaired to a regular tv screen so that seems like a limiting factor.
not rated yet Oct 23, 2009
I'm hoping for multilaser deconstructive interference to make points of floating light, but that technology is far more pricey then a spinning plate within a cylinder. Cylinder strikes me as a better shape then a sphere though for the sake of aspect ratio and maximizing backwards capability to 2d images that just need to be seen from any angle in respect to the device. Plus construction of a cylinder is cheap and easy. I just hope they dont have trouble supporting 1080 aspect in the future, or 4k- if they do, they may wish to try to make a partial vacuum within the cylinder.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2009
Ooh, I'd like one as an auxiliary display for CAD. Even with 3 orthogonal views and a perspective pair splashed across twin wide-screens, having a 'real' 3D thumbnail would help navigate. IMHO, it would go nicely with those '3D navigators' that 3D.Conn**n produce.
not rated yet Oct 24, 2009
I would just like a 3d flat screen that doesn't require glasses...
1 / 5 (1) Oct 26, 2009
I agree that a multilaser deconstructive interference to make points of floating light would be nice. And cylinder is a better shape then a sphere. But with the trouble supporting 1080 aspect in the future, then, making a partial vacuum within the cylinder would be very good, because you can run a VASIMR engine in a vacuum. This would be very fast.

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