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A Plastic Protector That Could Finally Make Mobile 3D Popular

A single Eyefly 3D protector contains 500,000 tiny lenses -- each the size of a single pixel -- that create the illusion of depth by sending separate display data to each eye.

What’s the Latest Development?

By incorporating technology that’s over a century old, designers at Singapore-based Nanoveu have created a plastic protector whose unique construction could make 3D displays more commonplace among smartphone users. The EyeFly 3D, which hit the iOS market last week, consists of half a million tiny lenses, each of which is able to direct a single pixel’s worth of data to either the left or the right eye. This technique, known as lenticular lens, has long been used to give the illusion of depth. Not only does the protector offer the ability to view images in 3D, it also provides “distortion-free” 2D viewing on some screens.

What’s the Big Idea?

Glasses-free 3D viewing has been around for a while now, but it hasn’t truly caught on with the public, partially because there hasn’t been enough 3D content available to make integrating the technology into phones and tablets worthwhile. To address that, Nanoveu is working with game designers to create 3D games and designing an app that will convert 2D images to 3D. Notably, the protectors are retailing for the relatively low cost of $35; this is due to a new fabrication method that enables stamping of very tiny patterns onto flexible material. Researcher Loke Yee Chong says that the process “can be scaled up much like the way newspapers are printed.”

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Read it at MIT Technology Review


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