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Max Planck Licenses 2-D/3-D Technology for Development

3D glasses (Dominic Alves/Flickr)Max Planck Society in Munich, Germany has licensed to TandemLaunch Technologies in Montreal, Canada a new three-dimension display technology that lets viewers see 3-D movies or games in 2-D without glasses to construct the images. Financial terms of the exclusive licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Current 3-D images are presented as stereoscopic pictures, with overlapping blurred images that require anaglyph or shutter glasses to enable the viewer to see the constructed image. The new technology, called backward-compatible stereo 3-D, presents a high-quality two-dimension image for viewers without glasses, and the full 3-D effects for those wearing glasses.

The technology — a product of Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarland University, and Telecom ParisTech — uses capabilities of the human visual system to construct images at different depths. Binocular disparity, in particular, enables a point in a field of view to be observed from slightly different angles by the two eyes, and reproduced in the retinas at two different positions.

The researchers created a method for reconstructing binocular disparity, in the context of other depth cues, which helps explain and predict the connection between real and perceived disparity. By keeping these disparities within human perception thresholds, and employing a human visual processing trait of brightness and shadow contrasts, the researchers could rescale stereoscopic pictures with little remaining disparity. The resulting backward-compatible stereo image still provides the full 3-D impression and minimizes the disparity effects when not wearing glasses.

In an e-mail, TandemLaunch’s project manager Maria Dlugosch tells Science Business that the company identified potential application areas including 3-D displays, auto-stereo 3-D displays, 3-D compression and image enhancement. She says TandemLaunch, a technology transfer accelerator and investor, is “working with some of the largest consumer electronics companies to define specific application cases in their product line-up, which we will then develop as reference designs.”

In the following video, Dlugosch tells more about the backward-compatible stereo 3-D technology.

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Photo: Dominic Alves/Flickr

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