Welcome to 2015, Marty McFly!

The billboard of the future: A large-scale glasses-free 3D display. (Image: TriLite)

The billboard of the future: A large-scale glasses-free 3D display. (Image: TriLite)

Marty McFly, the protagonist of the movie “Back to the Future Part II”, uses a time machine to travel from the year 1985 to October 21st, 2015. In the technological utopia of 2015 he is in for quite a few surprises. One of them is a colossal display on top of a cinema, from which a terrifying 3D shark seems to jump out to get him. Back in the 80s, no viable concepts for such a 3D display technology existed. But today, this technology is within reach.

TriLite Technologies and TU Wien have developed a first prototype a few months ago. Each 3D pixel (called Trixel) consists of a laser and a moveable mirror. The mirror directs the laser beams across the field of vision, from left to right. During that movement the image information is changed. With this basic idea, different pictures can be sent to the viewer´s left and right eye, so that a 3D effect is created without the need for 3D glasses.

The second prototype of the 3D display module, which sends different images to different directions, enabling glasses-free 3D. (Image: TriLite)

The second prototype of the 3D display module, which sends different images to different directions, enabling glasses-free 3D. (Image: TriLite)

Now, a much more advanced second prototype has been presented. It is now a full color display, a significant advancement over the first monochromatic version. Each Trixel has been equipped with three different lasers (red, green and blue). The module consists of 12 x 9 Trixels, so any number of modules can be assembled to create a large outdoor display.

“The software for controlling the modules and displaying movies has already been developed”, says Jörg Reitterer from TriLite Technologies, and PhD student in Professor Ulrich Schmid’s team at TU Wien. “We can use any off-the-shelf 3D movie and play it on our display.”

“The basic technology was invented by TriLite Technologies in 2011. At TU Wien, three research institutes worked on different tasks such as steering the Trixels and optimizing the connection between them. The technology is now ready for the market, and we are looking for partners for mass production all over the world”, says Franz Fidler, CTO of TriLite Technologies. (Source: TU Wien / TriLite Technologies)

Links: TU Wien, Vienna, Austria • TriLite Technologies, Vienna, Austria

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