Don’t like how goofy those 3D glasses make you look? You might not need them to watch of play 3D content in the future. According to a group of Singaporean researchers, a simple plastic filter will replace those silly glasses in the future. What’s more, the plastic filter will be compatible with mobile devices. This could mean many things to mobile gadget users, but one thing that pops up on the forefront is the addition of a completely new dimension of the mobile user experience.
Developed by Singapore’s Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), the plastic filter will be the first glasses-free 3D device in the market once it becomes available for commercial use. It will have the ability to show portrait and landscape content. How can a plastic film fully render 3D content?
The answer lies in the impressive engineering involved in producing the filter. The filter is made up of around 500,000 lenses imprinted on the plastic’s surface using IMRE’s nanoimprinting technology.
The plastic filter, however, is only the hardware part of the glasses-free 3D innovation. To complete the process TP and IMRE researchers built software applications compatible with Apple iOS and Android that would enable mobile devices to play 3D content through the filter. The software even offers the possibility of rendering originally 2D content into 3D. In order to encourage game developers to make the switch to 3D, the TP and IMRE research team plans on distributing a software development kit that would help turn existing 2D games into 3D.
Though this news seems to come out from nowhere, all that TP and IMRE have done to produce this 3D plastic filter is draw on lenticular lens technology, which itself is no new kid of the block with about one hundred years of existence. The Singaporean institutions just had the idea to take this old technology, modify it to accommodate the times, and add another dimension to it with the help of nanotechnology. The result is a filter that produces vibrant 3D visuals and effects that don’t rely on strong back lighting.
With continued research into the area, the TP and IMRE collaboration team plans on producing a detachable plastic filter for use with mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The plans are ultimately geared towards a commercial release of this special plastic film. According to IMRE Executive Director Andy Hor, one of IMRE’s objectives has always been to turn a scientific innovation into a successful business venture.