By Will Soutter
Movie watchers who enjoy 3D movies often find the movie watching experience diminished a bit by the minor inconvenience of having to sport 3D glasses. It would indeed be a pleasure to movie fans if they could have 3D viewing right in their homes sans the glasses.
Prototypes of displays capable of creating three dimensional images on television have been developed by television manufacturers. But consumers will have to wait for some more time before such technology known as autostereoscopic displays reaches the market.
The existing 3D movies available on Blu-ray technology are characterized by two different perspectives or two images with one image for each eye. Autostereoscopic displays however require five to ten perspectives for one scene. The reason for employing multiple views is to ensure that the same three dimensional image is presented when viewed from any angle.
In order to convert the 3D content of a Blu-ray disc into compatible content for autostereoscopic display, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications and Heinrich-Hertz Institute conceived a technique by which a depth map is generated for the two images from the Blu-ray. A depth map is one which designates the distance of each object from the camera. By employing rendering methods based on depth-imaging, the team was able to process many intermediate views. The difference between this new technique and existing depth mapping technique is that the former takes place in real-time and is automated. The required views are generated by a hardware component after processing the depth map. The technique greatly reduces the flickering appearing around object edges when estimations are inaccurate.
The researchers have developed the software for data conversion and are in the process of developing the hardware to integrate the product into televisions.