Sunday, July 4, 2010

Will two people watch different shows on the same TV at the same time?

From the NY Times:


Microsoft has created a prototype for an auto-stereoscopic display that viewers needn’t adjust by hand to find the sweet spot. Instead, an unusual lens paired with cameras in the display keep track of where the viewer is, then steer separate, narrow columns of video to each eye, said Steven Bathiche, director of research for Microsoft’s applied sciences group. In the future, he said, the light-steering technology can be used for 3-D televisions, laptops and mobile phones.

TO build the prototype, the researchers bought a 3-D television that refreshes at 120 hertz rather than the typical 60 hertz of a standard TV, so could provide a refresh rate of 60 hertz for each of the two video beams. At a rate of less than 60 hertz, and the eye perceives flicker.

“We threw out the glasses, took the TV apart and replaced the backlight with our lens, camera controls and L.E.D.’s,” he said. Light from the L.E.D.’s is sent bouncing through a thin, wedge-shaped lens created by Adrian Travis, a member of the group.

“The L.E.D.’s are programmed to send out the light in relation to where the head-tracking cameras say you are,” he said.

The team is now working on a 240-hertz version with four beams of light, so that two people, for example, can watch 3-D shows. They will even be able to watch separate shows on the same television, he said, as the display steers one channel to one viewer and the other to the second. In the future, the same concept can be applied to games, he said, with each person having a private full-screen display."

Full NY Times Article: