Glasses-Free 3D On Its Way to Japanese Arcades

Glasses-Free 3D On Its Way to Japanese Arcades

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The goggle-free 3D technology powering Nintendo's 3DS handheld could be getting a big brother in Japanese arcades soon enough.

3D gaming is poised to be the next big trend in the industry, but there's one catch: Wearing the big, bulky glasses sucks. You know it, I know it, Nintendo knows it, and Sony ... is off doing its own thing. Whatever. The point is, the sooner we can get more 3D gaming without the annoying goggles, the better.

With the 3DS launching sometime within the next half-year and Sony kicking its 3D gaming efforts into high gear, arcade hardware manufacturer SI Electronics is aiming to strike while the iron is hot in three dimensions. The company plans to unveil its System Board Y3 arcade board this week at the Amusement Machine Show in Chiba, Japan - hardware that is capable of working with a special screen to show 3D images without the need for glasses. Essentially, it's the 3DS, but bigger - and capable of displaying a "full HD" image.

Of course, the main problem with glasses-free 3D has been a limited area of effect: If the viewer isn't positioned properly, it won't work. This isn't as much a problem for a portable handheld, but it is one of the reasons that the technology has yet to take off regarding home theater systems - how can you be sure where your audience is seated?

For arcade systems, though, it's bound to be less of an issue. After all, you know where your viewer is standing - right at the controls.

You just have to hope that they won't draw a crowd with their skills.

(Via Andriasang)

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when I do lose an eye, this is the article I will be remembering.

This certainly is something that the Japanese arcades need, especialy since the Wii's popularity has caused them to take a beating.

It's not going to save them, but it will give them some steam while 3D TV's are too expensive for home use.

Well, it would have tohappen eventually - Not surprised happening over in Japan

Provided there's a big ol' toggle switch to throw it back into flat and linear for people with migraines, damaged eyesight, and simple preference against 3D, it's all good.

This would be awesome!

It could eventually lead to the rebirth of Arcades IMO!
Plus i know a few types of games that would be awesome with 3D.

Anyone like to play Rail Slashers?

I still don't understand how this technology works.

First Japan, then THE WORLD! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!

starting with the 3DS which i can't wait for simply because of Black and White <3

Gigaguy64:
This would be awesome!

It could eventually lead to the rebirth of Arcades IMO!
Plus i know a few types of games that would be awesome with 3D.

Anyone like to play Rail Slashers?

Tetris, the blocks will look like they are falling on your hands :')

arc1991:

Gigaguy64:
This would be awesome!

It could eventually lead to the rebirth of Arcades IMO!
Plus i know a few types of games that would be awesome with 3D.

Anyone like to play Rail Slashers?

Tetris, the blocks will look like they are falling on your hands :')

That would be awesome...

Oh Oh!
A mecha game where the Cockpit is completely in 3D and you actually haft to interact with the controls!

Multiple surround screens would help make it crazy immersive

Whats an arcade?

Just kidding, although the closest I've ever really come to one would be Dave & Busters. This would probably were 3D would get its mainstream start, as it doesn't cost thousands of dollars to even be 3D capable.

I'm still not sure about 3D. When I saw Avatar, the effects were nice, but rather distracting, and I noticed after buying the Blu Ray that it had looked a little washed, and less detailed at the cinema. Surely if 3D is the way to go, we aren't regressing back from HD, right?

The last arcade I went to was my laser tag zone. I played virtual on 50 times.

JaymesFogarty:
I'm still not sure about 3D. When I saw Avatar, the effects were nice, but rather distracting, and I noticed after buying the Blu Ray that it had looked a little washed, and less detailed at the cinema. Surely if 3D is the way to go, we aren't regressing back from HD, right?

Cinema quality varies greatly from location to location. Old projectors, improperly configured projectors, over-sized screens, etc. Theres also that niggling little fact that "digital 3D" is lower resolution than 2D.

The reason it looks better on a bluray is a lower resolution displayed on a small screen will look much better than a large resolution on an oversized screen.

Most location's IMAX3D, though, is very pretty. As the stock was pretty much developed for "dome" viewing, thus can only benefit from the smaller (floor to ceiling, non-dome) screen.

Oh yea, glasses free 3D. Since I sincerely doubt this is accomplished by the same method as the old "hologram" images, and is just a cross prismed, cross polarized screen that can only work in situations where "distance from screen" can be accurately predicted (meaning glasses free 3D TVs would have very specific placement requirements), you won't see this outside of arcades and handhelds.

I'd like to see this...too bad the age of the arcade was before my time. Chuck E. Cheese, Pizza Hut, and skating rinks are the closest to the experience I've ever been.

Cynical skeptic:

JaymesFogarty:
I'm still not sure about 3D. When I saw Avatar, the effects were nice, but rather distracting, and I noticed after buying the Blu Ray that it had looked a little washed, and less detailed at the cinema. Surely if 3D is the way to go, we aren't regressing back from HD, right?

Cinema quality varies greatly from location to location. Old projectors, improperly configured projectors, over-sized screens, etc. Theres also that niggling little fact that "digital 3D" is lower resolution than 2D.

The reason it looks better on a bluray is a lower resolution displayed on a small screen will look much better than a large resolution on an oversized screen.

Most location's IMAX3D, though, is very pretty. As the stock was pretty much developed for "dome" viewing, thus can only benefit from the smaller (floor to ceiling, non-dome) screen.

Oh yea, glasses free 3D. Since I sincerely doubt this is accomplished by the same method as the old "hologram" images, and is just a cross prismed, cross polarized screen that can only work in situations where "distance from screen" can be accurately predicted (meaning glasses free 3D TVs would have very specific placement requirements), you won't see this outside of arcades and handhelds.

Damn! I certainly won't be getting 3D then. Those glasses are ridiculous! And thanks for reminding me about the size of the screen. I suppose even HD can look a little tired if it's projected onto something so big!

Japanese arcades are overwhelmingly... underwhelming. At least, the ones I went to. I was very disappoint, and very creeped out by the body pillow cover claw machine. The Hello Kitty mini cake tin was pretty sweet, though.
What games will they use this for, though?
They had a LOT of different stuff.

Tiamat666:
I still don't understand how this technology works.

Simple, 3d irl works because your eyes see things a little bit differently (since they are an inch or two apart). 3D glasses filter out certain light so that the movie screen can send different images to your right and left eyes, the lens in each eye blocks the image meant for the other eye.

This new technology works by having vertical columns of pixels alternate between left and right eye images. a plastic barrier is then placed in front of this screen so that none of it is visible. Then a machine cuts a series of precise slits that are angled so that when the device is held between the eyes, the right eye sees through the slits leading to the columns of pixels holding the image meant for the right eye, and vice versa for the left eye.

Basically it's all about giving each eye a different image through the use of angled slits.

Cynical skeptic:

Oh yea, glasses free 3D. Since I sincerely doubt this is accomplished by the same method as the old "hologram" images, and is just a cross prismed, cross polarized screen that can only work in situations where "distance from screen" can be accurately predicted (meaning glasses free 3D TVs would have very specific placement requirements), you won't see this outside of arcades and handhelds.

That is undoubtedly true of the systems they're creating now. But, the research projects for the near future are a lot more impressive.

I still wonder how long it will take to see real-world commercial applications, but a company called 'SeeReal' has got working prototypes of a low viewing angle holographic display.

It's basically a screen that creates a proper holographic image, but to reduce it from needing a display with several hundred million pixels, and an insane amount of real-time graphics processing, they've found a way to reduce the hologram to a viewing angle of about 1.5 degrees per eye.
They then use an eye-tracking camera to determine where the observers are (their prototypes can track 4 people), and angle the image the display produces so that it's limited viewing angle coincides with the observer's field of view.

Since they say the prototypes were built with stock LCD panels, the problem must be one of processing power.
Their prototype needed the entire capabilities of a Geforce 8800 to be able to render a black and white image. And since this is a holographic image that depends on the position of the person watching it relative to the screen, you cannot pre-calculate it.
So even watching a pre-rendered scene such as a dvd, would require a huge amount of processing power.

However, the end result is still a holographic image, which means that not only does it provide parallax depth, but also accomodation depth. (IE. Your eyes have to focus at different distances to produce a sharp image, whereas current 3d systems 'look' 3d, but your eyes are focused at a single distance, namely that of the screen you are looking at.).
And while it apparently requires eye tracking cameras, it does not require you to be wearing glasses. (or anything else for that matter. Everything required is handled by the screen.)

Even so, they claimed (2 years ago, or so, I might add), that commercially viable examples of the technology should be possible in 3-4 years.

Though, my guess is still that both the 3ds AND the arcade systems being described here are plain old parallax barrier screens, which, while not requiring glasses, still have all the other downsides of parallax only technologies.

ugh i don't know why they don't just put more effort into 3D displays with passive glasses.
that way the glasses go from a couple hundred dollars a pair to a few dollars. they dont weigh anything more than a pair of ordinary sunglasses, dont need batteries and you can carry them around with you without worrying about breaking them.
if i was being paranoid id say its because the technology for the screens would be very little more or the same price as active glasses displays whereas you can charge way more for a pair of fancy electronic glasses than you can for whats basically a pair of polarising sunglasses.

milkkart:
ugh i don't know why they don't just put more effort into 3D displays with passive glasses.
that way the glasses go from a couple hundred dollars a pair to a few dollars. they dont weigh anything more than a pair of ordinary sunglasses, dont need batteries and you can carry them around with you without worrying about breaking them.
if i was being paranoid id say its because the technology for the screens would be very little more or the same price as active glasses displays whereas you can charge way more for a pair of fancy electronic glasses than you can for whats basically a pair of polarising sunglasses.

What, you mean like the cheap, disposable glasses a lot of cinemas are using now?

I do wonder why that isn't possible in the home...

Actually though, it is; A digital projection setup can pretty much match what the cinemas are doing... It's not even that difficult.

It's just... Digital projection systems are somehow less popular than large screen TV's, even though for a given screen size, it's probably cheaper.

Oh well.

Gigaguy64:

arc1991:

Gigaguy64:
This would be awesome!

It could eventually lead to the rebirth of Arcades IMO!
Plus i know a few types of games that would be awesome with 3D.

Anyone like to play Rail Slashers?

Tetris, the blocks will look like they are falling on your hands :')

That would be awesome...

Oh Oh!
A mecha game where the Cockpit is completely in 3D and you actually haft to interact with the controls!

Interactive controls? Damn that sounds so epic. Wait a minute...They will combat simulators for there mech pilots! They will be already fully trained when they launch there attack, we are screwd!

But.... I love 3D glasses...

Makes enough sense for arcades and handhelds, but I don't see 3D becoming mainstream for home consoles any time soon. Mostly because the TV doesn't come with the console, and the positioning issue. Although by the time 3D TV's are cheap the fad will probably have blown over anyway...

CrystalShadow:

milkkart:
snip

What, you mean like the cheap, disposable glasses a lot of cinemas are using now?

I do wonder why that isn't possible in the home...

Actually though, it is; A digital projection setup can pretty much match what the cinemas are doing... It's not even that difficult.

It's just... Digital projection systems are somehow less popular than large screen TV's, even though for a given screen size, it's probably cheaper.

Oh well.

i think you need a specifically produced 3d projector dont you?
but yeah if you have the space for a screen, or a suitable blank wall a nice HD projector would an alternative to a TV. would mean watching tv with the light off all the time though, unless there are ones bright enough to be used with the light on?
sony produced a 3d projector already. still uses active shutter glasses rather than passive polariser glasses though, made me facepalm pretty hard when i read about it.
surely a single polarising LCD shutter on the projecter is cheaper than two blanking LCD shutters per viewer. hell the tech had already been produced for cinemas, in fact the principle was already in use for your basic 7-seg LCD calculator or watch display. it was just a case of fitting it to home projectors.

milkkart:

CrystalShadow:

milkkart:
snip

What, you mean like the cheap, disposable glasses a lot of cinemas are using now?

I do wonder why that isn't possible in the home...

Actually though, it is; A digital projection setup can pretty much match what the cinemas are doing... It's not even that difficult.

It's just... Digital projection systems are somehow less popular than large screen TV's, even though for a given screen size, it's probably cheaper.

Oh well.

i think you need a specifically produced 3d projector dont you?
but yeah if you have the space for a screen, or a suitable blank wall a nice HD projector would an alternative to a TV. would mean watching tv with the light off all the time though, unless there are ones bright enough to be used with the light on?
sony produced a 3d projector already. still uses active shutter glasses rather than passive polariser glasses though, made me facepalm pretty hard when i read about it.
surely a single polarising LCD shutter on the projecter is cheaper than two blanking LCD shutters per viewer. hell the tech had already been produced for cinemas, in fact the principle was already in use for your basic 7-seg LCD calculator or watch display. it was just a case of fitting it to home projectors.

Yes, you probably do need a specially produced 3d projector.

Then again, I've seen hardware hackers make 3d projectors (one was made for use with second life). All it takes is 2 normal projectors, placed so that the images they project overlap.

(I'm sure you could figure out a way to do it with 1 projector, but for improvised equipment, that creates a lot of complicated timing and video signal alterations. Using two projectors, with a PC, it becomes almost as simple as a dual monitor setup.)

All the technical modification it took, was placing a polarising filter in front of each projector, aligning them so the images are the same size, and project to the same location, and then making sure your polarised glasses correctly match the polarisation of the projector images for each eye.

Hardly difficult to create, if a little expensive in that you need 2 projectors. (polarising filters cost next to nothing by comparison.)

If I had the equipment, I'd probably try and hack one together from the 3d cinema glasses I've got lying around.

To be quite honest, I think using shutter glasses with a projector is a stupid idea that can at best be because they want to have the same glasses for all their 'tv' systems, but in reality sounds like an excuse to use expensive glasses even when they aren't needed.

CrystalShadow:

damn, if i could get my hands on some cheap projectors id love to try that. still got a couple pairs of realD glasses that would be perfect for it too.

got a very cheap and shoddy projector knocking about, i wonder how expensive/difficult it would be to get an LCD polariser and build some electronics to sync it.

a lot of whats going on with 3d either seems to be stupid gimmickrey or rampant profiteering.
currently AFAIK all the passive glasses displays use row interleave polarisation so you get half the vertical resolution as well which seems pretty terrible. there seems to be a bunch of different formats for 3D dvds as well, because what we really need is another format war. ¬_¬

 

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