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Scientists develop optical film to produce 3D images

2011-09-02 11:15

South Korean scientists said Friday that they have developed an optical film that enables ordinary displays to show images in three dimensions (3D).

The Seoul National University (SNU) team said the special film uses the Lucius prism array principle to get an effect similar to the one created by viewing images through cumbersome 3D glasses.

"The images provided by the film, which can be placed easily over any liquid crystal display or organic light-emitting diode display, offers the same level of clarity as those provided by 3D glasses," said Char Kook-heon, who led the research and is a professor at SNU's school of chemical and biological engineering.

He also said that because of the characteristics of the film, viewers can enjoy 3D images at wider angles than present TVs and other video screens that rely on glasses.

The scientists, however, said the film does not ease current consumer complaints of dizziness because in order for people to believe they are seeing three dimensional images on a flat screen, the right and left eyes must see different pictures that are then rearranged by the human brain.

The latest discovery, which took about 18 months of research, is noteworthy considering the steadily growing market for 3D-capable products and because commercial production of the film can begin almost immediately.

"Developing the ideal (effect) required lots of trial and error, but making the film itself can be done in a few days," Char said. "If consumer electronic manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. wanted to use the technology, they should be able to make 3D products that do not need glasses within a year."

Funded by the government and National Research Foundation of Korea, the discovery was published in the latest online issue of Nature Communications. (Yonhap News)
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