Philips Research is working on an LCD computer-monitor which
can display images in 3D without the encumberance of special glasses.
The display is a heady blend of new technology and another childhood favorite: lenticular imaging. Lenticulars are those colorful cards with finely ridged plastic over a color picture that either have a 3-D look or appear to move as you tilt the card from side to side. Those plastic ridges are actually lenses, and they focus on narrow strips of color that make up the images. Multiple images are interlaced beneath the lenses, so that your eyes build different views as your perspective changes.
Philips' innovation applies a lenticular surface to a high-resolution color LCD. The LCD screen displays tightly interleaved slices of several versions of the scene, giving that same sense of dimensional perspective. The demo at Philips Research is compelling. As you sit before the 17-inch monitor, people and objects seem to come to life. Scenes with well-lit foreground objects and a full range of texture and shadow behind the objects work best.
The other half of the equation is converting everyday 2-D images into 3-D images. Philips engineers developed an algorithm to examine each frame and determine which objects are in the foreground by virtue of their brightness, the sharpness of their edges (focus), and their depth.