A psychologist at the University of Liverpool, UK, has designed 3D glasses that device uses no electronics, and works on normal 2D images or video; what's more, it doesn't give you headaches unlike the regular 3D glasses.
Developed by Rob Black and called 'The I', the device works in the opposite way to the 3D systems employed in cinemas.
AdvertisementThere, images on the screen are filtered so that each eye sees a slightly different perspective - known as binocular disparity - fooling the brain into perceiving depth.
"The I" ensures that both eyes see an image or computer screen from exactly the same perspective. With none of the depth cues associated with binocular disparity, the brain assumes it must be viewing a distant 3D object instead of looking at a 2D image.
As a result, the image is perceived as if it were a window the viewer is looking through, and details in the image are interpreted as objects scattered across a landscape.
The perceptual trick, called synoptic vision, is apparent on any nearby two-dimensional image, but is especially marked where other depth cues exist. For instance, the brain will naturally assume an animal in the 2D image is in the foreground if it is large, and far away if it is small.
In movie theatres, the eyes need to focus on the screen itself to see objects in focus, but the 3D effects can force the viewer to try to focus several metres in front of or behind the screen instead.
"Even with if you use the world's best 3D kit, it can still present conflicting perceptual information," New Scientist quoted him as saying.
"By turning off that conflicting information, you can enjoy the scene in the way the artist depicted."
Currently the device is still a prototype, but Black hopes that his synoptic viewer will one day be incorporated into existing 3D systems.
"I think 3D is impressive at the moment, but with this we can get significantly closer to reality simulation."
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