Sony launched a “black technology” screen, finally watch 3D movies without wearing glasses

If you want to vote for the most disappointing future technology, naked-eye 3D may be elected with high votes.

There is no other reason. The current naked-eye 3D technology products are difficult to satisfy in terms of visual effects. Whether it is compared with the 3D blockbuster wearing "sunglasses" or the virtual reality of head-mounted VR, the current naked-eye 3D technology is It can't bring people a sense of shock.

Don't rush to be disappointed with naked-eye 3D. Sony's latest naked-eye 3D screen that can create a sense of spatial reality can bring you closer to the 3D effects in science fiction movies.

"Conceptual" products you can buy

Put down the heavy VR glasses, Sony’s ELF-SR1 launched on October 15th will bring you a unique SR (Space Reality) experience.

The biggest drawback of naked-eye 3D in the past was that it had to be viewed at a fixed angle to have the 3D effect that breaks the space limitation. If the viewer's head is slightly deviated from the position, then only fuzzy overlapping images can be seen.

The "black technology" of ELF-SR1 is embodied in that no matter how the position of the human eye moves, a clear, high-precision and smooth three-dimensional picture can be obtained.

In order to achieve this kind of three-dimensional space effect without dead corners, Sony actually adopted a very handy method.

▲ Picture from: Sony.com

The black technology is hidden on this thick frame that can "stop the aircraft carrier" on it. Sony has placed a camera on it that can track the position of a person's face. By determining the position of the human eye, each pixel of the screen is dynamically adjusted to allow The screen shows the most suitable visual image of the location to "deceive" the human eye.

Adjusting the picture in time makes it possible to have no blind spots, and it is worth mentioning that this naked-eye 3D effect is more like a stereo holographic projection. When the human eye moves to the side of the screen to look at the display, the picture actually seen It is the side of the display, rather than simply turning the display to the human eye.

The inside of the screen is like a box, the display is suspended in it, and it can be viewed from any angle.

The excellent 3D effect is achieved by a 15.6-inch flat screen, which is tilted at 45 degrees on the desktop to create a realistic sense of space. The screen and the desktop are placed in a triangle. If you suspect that it is a stereoscopic projection image formed by the combination of three screens, then the hollow design on the side will also break these doubts.

In order to display the images of the left and right eyes on one screen at the same time, the ELF-SR1 screen uses cylindrical prism technology. The light seen by the human eye is actually divided into two parts by the cylindrical prism and transmitted to the left and right eyes at the same time, forming a deep 3D picture. .

At the CES conference at the beginning of this year, Sony demonstrated the ELF-SR1 concept machine. At that time, the concept machine was still in the experimental stage, and the demonstration effect was not so amazing, so it did not attract much attention at the time.

Unexpectedly, in less than a year, Sony’s spatial naked-eye 3D technology has been transformed from a concept to a product landing, and announced that it will open pre-sales in Japan and the United States in the near future, priced at 500,000 yen (US The version is $4,999).

ELF-SR1 uses a screen with a size of 15.6 inches and a resolution of 4K, with a color gamut of approximately 100% AdobeRGB and a contrast ratio of 1400:1.

However, due to the consideration of the cylindrical prism for displaying the 3D effect, the ELF-SR1 does not use the popular full bonding process, so there is always an outdated display in the state of the screen.

But when the screen lights up, the realistic 3D picture that comes out of the screen will tell you where the money is spent.

Constantly exploring the "obstacle method"

Realizing the naked-eye 3D effect has always been one of the goals of human beings in the continuous development of display technology. Unlike the methodical development of 4K and 8K display resolutions, the development of naked-eye 3D is still in the groping stage.

The naked-eye 3D technology is not mysterious. In fact, the use of 2D images to display 3D effects has always been a magic trick to "deceive" the eyes. After years of development, naked-eye 3D can basically be divided into three technical streams.

The most common is the naked eye 3D effect on a large outdoor screen. In fact, this is mainly a three-dimensional effect formed by using the shadow of the movie screen to create a visual illusion. There is nothing special in the display technology itself, and it does not cause visual difference to the eyes. sense.

Ai Faner has also discussed the 3D effect of the big screen on the city ​​streets . The giant screen and the specially produced stereoscopic film can indeed bring quite a shocking 3D visual impact, but when the audience leaves the best viewing angle, the stereoscopic The effect may be greatly reduced.

And the more widely used in personal electronic products is the grating bar method. The most famous representative product is Nintendo’s handheld 3DS.

If calculated solely by sales, Nintendo’s 3DS will be the world’s highest-selling naked-eye 3D device, but unfortunately this beautiful sales performance seems to have nothing to do with its poor naked-eye 3D effect.

Although Nintendo uses the naked-eye 3D function as a major selling point of 3DS, in fact players will turn off the 3D display function after a few minutes of experience.

Because players move their eyes a little to see the ghost images, the visual fatigue caused by long-term use can also make people nauseous. Except for the good 3D effect of watching the cut scene CG, the 3D performance of other game scenes is very tasteless. .

This poor user experience often appears on other raster-bar 3D screens, which is related to its technical principles. The grating barrier technology uses the liquid crystal layer and the polarizing film to create a series of light and dark stripes (parallax barriers) to create visual difference for the eyes and give the picture a sense of depth.

The biggest advantage of this method is that the production cost is very low, but the price is that the brightness and resolution of the screen will have a relatively large loss, so it is easy to cause visual fatigue when watching for a long time, and the brain is also prone to dizziness, causing various problems. Kind of discomfort.

▲ Picture from: Sony.com

The cylindrical prism method used on ELF-SR1 is a commonly used "deception" method for mainstream displays. It adds a layer of cylindrical lens in front of the liquid crystal display. The lens can project each sub-pixel in a different direction, so that both eyes can View the display screen from different angles to get the picture difference and also create a sense of depth.

The lenticular lens will not cause loss of brightness, but because multiple sub-pixels are required to display the left and right eyes separately to create visual difference, the lenticular prism method still compromises the screen resolution.

Before the emergence of the new parallax display technology, ELF-SR1 may be the best solution for flat naked-eye 3D display. In order to solve the problem of low resolution of cylindrical prisms, Sony chose a 4K resolution screen with a "large volume tube full". Even if the pixels need to be split, the left and right eyes can each get a clear picture with 2K resolution.

▲ A good face tracking effect can also be achieved through mobile phones

Sony uses face tracking technology on ELF-SR1. The screen can adjust the pixel arrangement in milliseconds according to the movement of the human eye in the three-axis position. By dynamically adjusting the picture, it can solve the pain point that the audience must watch at a fixed angle in the past. Stereoscopic 3D picture with smooth movement and floating feeling.

However, due to the technical characteristics of the pixel accommodating the eyes, the ELF-SR1 currently only supports one person to use, that is to say, on the ELF-SR1, three or five friends cannot watch a tangible 3D blockbuster together. The imaging principle Decided that ELF-SR1 belongs to only one person's carnival.

Add a one-dimensional picture of the future

Sony’s product positioning for ELF-SR1 is to include filmmakers and animation producers (such as Sony Pictures’ "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" team), automotive product designers, architects, and VR/AR content creators. The creator service helps them create more high-precision 3D pictures more conveniently.

Also for consumer-grade naked-eye 3D products, Looking Glass has also launched a holographic display that can achieve spatial effects with the naked eye. The design of Looking Glass is completely different from ELF-SR1. Compared with the simple flat screen design of ELF-SR1, the screen surface of Looking Glass also has a huge glass panel.

This is related to the display principle of Looking Glass, which can simultaneously generate and display specific display images at 45 angles for the object. By refracting in the three-dimensional glass, you can obtain a combination of several pictures to form a three-dimensional picture no matter which angle you view.

The unique technical principle also makes Looking Glass different from ELF-SR1 in terms of viewing effect. It can support multiple people to watch 3D images on the same screen, but the display accuracy will be inferior to that of ELF-SR1, which serves dedicated personnel.

▲ Picture from: Sony.com

Although the current consumer-grade glasses-free 3D products have different display principles, their application scenarios are the same, and they are all meeting the needs of more professional visual work. For example, analyze the molecular structure of drugs, build visual scientific models, and let designers realize more dimensional fantastic fantasy.

The current product applications closest to mass consumers should appear in product marketing displays or museum stereoscopic displays. If you want to experience such excellent 3D in movies or games, you still need to coordinate the development of hardware and content production industries for a while. .

Using eye tracking technology to create a deep 3D effect can actually be achieved on our mobile phone. TheParallaxView uses the 3D structured light module and gyroscope on the iPhone to create a very good depth effect.

In fact, Apple has also applied for a similar patent for using eye tracking to achieve 3D display. It also uses a screen lens to achieve a naked eye 3D effect, but if it is really used on a MacBook or iPhone, the terrible price will also test the fans. faith.

▲ Picture from: Sony.com

The appearance of ELF-SR1 is more symbolic than actual for mass consumers. Before that, the main naked-eye 3D product was like a ripened fruit. The appearance looks very attractive, and the actual bite only feels Sour and astringent.

For example, Nintendo also added facial recognition in the later stage of the 3DS to adapt to the player's sight movement, but the raster bar screen selected for low cost is still difficult to achieve a clear and smooth game screen.

▲ Picture from: Sony.com

Facts have proved that in order to achieve a more mature naked eye 3D effect on consumer-grade products, in addition to advanced optical technology and panel manufacturing technology, it must be able to withstand the high cost of developing another production line (not compatible with mainstream LCD technology).

When the 3D wave receded and various display manufacturers went ashore and switched to visual competitions in other fields, fortunately, Sony has not given up on diving and exploring in this bottomless ocean of technology.

The expensive price of ELF-SR1 makes it destined to belong to the minority, but this does not prevent it from letting us have higher expectations for future display technology. Sony provides creators with support for software such as Unity. If you have a bold idea about this screen, it is really possible that it will become a reality now.

▲ The bold idea is definitely to use Miku!

When the cost of 3D display panels is reduced, the naked-eye 3D function may usher in a wave of revival in the future, but this time, the realistic three-dimensional sense of space is no longer a gimmick.

Higher and higher

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