3D Displays for Laptops – No Silly Glasses Required

Incorporating the new 3D LCD*1 technology developed by Sharp, their new PC-RD3D (sounds a bit Star Wars, really) is a high-performance workbook with a 2.8GHz processor and a GeForce 4 440 graphics chip.

The 3D display has very exciting applications: CAD, medical imaging, playing Star Wars Galaxies … but how does it work?

The display is switchable between two modes, standard 2D and a mode optimised for 3D applications. In 3D mode, light leaving the display is polarized by a filter into one of two different directions, so each eye sees a different image. This "parallax barrier system" has been used in things like those LCD switching glasses you get handed at the IMAX cinema, but this is the first time it’s been employed on a display.

Sharp explain how their 3D display works

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?