Glasses-free 3D movies may come sooner than you think


Do you hate those horrible 3D glasses you need to watch movies in theaters? Of course you do. You’re human. They’re especially heinous for anyone who tries to wear regular glasses underneath. Have you ever gotten a seat in a theater where the lighting was just so, and you were forced to stare at the reflection of your own eyeball for the entire movie, distracting yourself at poignant moments with the intricacies of your facial pores? That’s the worst.

No matter how cool 3D technology is, the glasses you need to see it with are terrible. The 3DS showed us that glasses-free consumer products can happen, but if you’ve ever played a 3DS, you know how hard it is to show the screen to someone next to you. Enter South Korean magicians, who have decided that 3D glasses are totally lame and are trying to do something about it. A new study was posted in Optics Express about a new type of rear projection that allows a large audience to watch 3D movies without glasses.

Basically, they put a special filter in front of the projector that blocks part of the image from each eye. Watching with both eyes open makes the image appear to be in 3D. There are a lot more technical details in the Optics Express article, but the short story is that this technology would allow theaters to show glasses-free 3D with only light modifications. They wouldn’t have to change the way the movies are projected, or put a filter over the whole screen, so it would actually be an affordable change to make.

The downside is that the films would have to be distributed in an entirely different way. The other big issue is that, since this is a pretty recent discovery, the filter isn’t advanced enough yet to produce high-quality images. We don’t exactly want grainy, horrible-looking 3D. Still, the possibility is out there, and we may be seeing some big news in upcoming years.

[Via /Film]