Originally Posted by Drew Neilson
I wonder whether this technology will be used in computers and computer screens and in mobile devices and game consoles. You'd have to have graphics processing capable of powering it. Of course, I wonder how odd it'd look using a tablet or phone with this technology in public. Hopefully the field of view isn't wide enough that everyone near you can see the 3D image popping off of your screen. Think of the privacy implications. Of course, I must admit that my understanding of this technology is very low.
I think it is highly unlikely to find it's way into mobile devices, there are a few reasons :
- thickness : mobile devices are constantly in a war to make phones thinner than their competitors. The type of glasses-free 3D display used by StreamTV requires a thick layer of optics on top of the regular display. Making the phone thicker and heavier than the 2D equivalent
- 2D touch HMI and 3D incompatibility : trying to touch a 3D image with a 2D interface is a receipe for disaster. When Nintendo designed the 3DS console, they experimented with a 3D screen for the touch panel, but from their own report (the console's announcement conference), they realized it didn't work and kept the touch screen 2D.
The issue is also experienced by people playing video games using 3D Vision (forces a 3D rendering on games originally designed for 2D), there are often issues with aiming due to the weapon sights being drawn in 2D while watching a 3D image at variable depth (like aiming real guns in real life, you can't use stereo vision, you must close an eye and line up your eye with the sight). The exact same issue happens in aiming the mouse cursor over menus and objects when trying to interact with the 3D world with the 2D mouse pointer.
Whenever such a situation arise, uses must use tricks to artificially flatten the 3D image, or move the object to the screen's depth before being able to properly use the interface (something which isn't always usable).
As an additional issue, there is the depth violation issue whenever the screen is displaying an image popping out of the display : if you cover the image popping out in the foreground with your fingers in the background, the finger (supposed to be behind) visually blocks the image (supposed to be in front), something which your brain is absolutely sure is impossible. The depth violation is visually extremely disturbing (your eyes break focus trying to figure out what they're looking at, you instantly loose the 3D effect and often can't figure out what you're looking at), and often leads to headaches if you force yourself to look at it.
Specialized glasses free 3D using parallax barriers (same type as Nintendo 3Ds) has been available for years, it's very compact, cheap and works very well for single users on mobile devices since it's very easy to position yourself in the sweetspot. There have been a few specialized 3D phones with a stereoscopic camera and glasses-free 3D screen during the height of the 3D hype. They were nice gadgets, but overall people didn't care about them, the 3D effect didn't bring enough value to be maintained on the next generation of phones.