Technology

Could a simple protective film be the future of glasses-free 3D viewing?

April 06, 2013

A new film, which can be applied to the screen of potentially any Android or Apple smartphone or tablet, can render stereoscopic 3D content without the need for 3D glasses. — Afp picA new film, which can be applied to the screen of potentially any Android or Apple smartphone or tablet, can render stereoscopic 3D content without the need for 3D glasses. — Afp picSINGAPORE, April 6 — A new nano-engineered filter can be applied to the display of any smartphone or tablet, converting it into a 3D display that can be viewed with the naked eye. 

Developed in Singapore by Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering over the course of two years, the film, called EyeFly 3D and set to go on sale globally in May, contains 500,000 microscopic lenses that can render static and moving images in stereoscopic 3D, yet it is only 0.1mm thick, making it the same size and thickness as traditional screen protectors. 

It won’t take a user’s existing 2D images and films and convert them magically in front of their eyes, but it can take any content shot in 3D and display it as such, without the need for 3D glasses. 

However, a number of apps are being developed to support the film for both Apple and Android devices that can convert 2D images into 3D and the film’s creators are currently working with games developers and other app makers to help them convert their existing applications to make full use of EyeFly 3D’s capabilities. 

The film is not the only solution currently on the market for those who demand 3D content, but, according to its creators, it is the first that doesn’t affect resolution or screen brightness when displaying 2D images and it is also the first solution that can render in 3D whether the tablet or smartphone is held in landscape or portrait mode. 

For example, Scubo3D offers a similar experience via its Scubo Viewer or Scubo Case and supporting app but, unlike EyeFly 3D’s solution, Scubo’s viewer is essentially a plate that sits on top the device’s screen while, as the name suggests, the case is a protective case in which the smartphone is completely housed in order to deliver 3D content. 

EyeFly 3D is priced at US$34.95 (RM86.12) and is available to order now for iPhone5 and the iPod Touch, while versions to support the Samsung Galaxy SIV and the iPad 4 are planned for later in the year. — Afp-Relaxnews