attempt to deliver 3-D game content.
“Most of the games have 3-D information embedded in their 2-D versions,” said
Thomas Striegler, president and CEO of
iZ3D. The San Diego-based start-up company offers a 3-D monitor for gamers. Introduced last year, it uses the inherent
characteristic of liquid crystals to dynamically change the polarization on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Combined with linearly
polarized viewing glasses, this allows left
and right image information to end up in
the correct eye.
The monitor is about 50 percent more
expensive than a similarly sized 2-D one,
largely because it has a second LCD layer
that controls the polarization and thereby
produces images with depth. The 3-D
monitor also has to have a brighter backlight than a 2-D one because of the two
LCD layers that must be transited instead
of the one found in a 2-D monitor.
Striegler said that a polarization approach, which uses passive glasses and not
ones with a shutter in them, offers the advantage of minimizing visual and mental
strain on the viewer. Polarization-based
techniques are used in 3-D movies, although circular polarization is the focus,
not the linear polarization used by iZ3D.
The company plans to go both big and
small with its monitors. The larger ones
will be for high-definition home entertainment, either broadcast or recorded. The
smaller ones will show up in phones and
other handheld devices. In that case, the
implementation may be different because
there are other technologies than LCDs
that could be used.
Going deep on small screens
For example, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies of San Diego has a reflective
display technology that works by using
electrostatics to change an air gap in a minuscule subpixel microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS) element, thereby turning
the element on or off. Different air gaps
lead to different colors when the element
Because the company is a subsidiary of
cell phone chip maker Qualcomm, it’s no
surprise that its products show up in handsets, in part because they consume very
little power when displaying unchanging