Toshiba has developed a 21-inch autostereoscopic high-definition display for use in next-generation 3D monitors that enables the user to enjoy three-dimensional images without the need for special glasses.

In recent years, a combination of increasing demands for more realistic images and evolving display technology has been the catalyst for advancements in the development of 3D images and pictures for various applications, and has enabled 3D technology to be put to practical use in the cinema and television industries.

To date most 3D products have used special glasses to separate a picture into two images: one for the left eye and the other for the right eye. But the market has strongly desired a more versatile and glasses-free approach that could be used anywhere. This new product employs an integral imaging system (a “light field” display) to reproduce a real object as a 3D image that can be viewed without glasses over a wide range of viewing angles. Therefore, the display is suitable for 3D monitors used for advertisements and entertainment appliances.

The integral imaging system offers a significant reduction in eye fatigue during long periods of viewing, and features a multi-parallax design that enables motion parallax, which cannot be achieved by systems using glasses. The multi-parallax approach results in images that change depending on the viewer’s position. In addition, the viewing angle is wide, and the resulting stereoscopic image is natural and smooth. In some previous integral imaging implementations, there have been issues raised relating to the loss of effective image resolution.

In previous implementations, if the number of pixels in the display is kept constant and not increased, then the multi-parallax approach will reduce the effective resolution of the 3D display in an inverse proportion to the number of parallax positions. We have addressed this problem by applying LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) technology to develop an ultra-high-definition LCD module for this newly-introduced high-definition and large-screen 3D display.

This 21-inch auto-stereoscopic high-definition display adopts a lens sheet to control reduction in surface luminance intensity, resulting in brightness comparable to standard 2D displays. The power consumption of the display is relatively low. The new 21-inch display is considered to be environmentally friendly with low power usage.

Furthermore, the display can be used in a vertical or horizontal position. When used in the vertical position, the user faces the upright screen from the front as a person would usually use a 2D monitor. However, when used in the horizontal position, the user overlooks the stereoscopic image formed by the display lying face-up, as one would overlook a relief model. Compared with the front view, the 3D images seen face-up from the bird’s eye view are more stereoscopic and realistic.

Toshiba  will showcase this display in booth #631 at SID 2010 International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, from May 25 to May 27, 2010, in Seattle, WA, USA.

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