Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

3D/2D switchable LCD monitor from Sharp 178

Roy Sigurd Karlsbakk writes "Sharp just came up with an LCD monitor that allows you to switch between 3D ( no glasses ) and 2D view. Wanna play quake and have a slight heart attack?" Now thats what I'm talking about!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

3D/2D switchable LCD monitor from Sharp

Comments Filter:
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:43AM (#4366674)
    Oh wait, it's not the monitor, it's just the double post on Slashdot!
    • "just the double post on Slashdot!" That's because your not using your Sharp 3D monitor. Man, the the pages really pop out of the screen! :^)
    • So is a double post a /. st st Sudd-der?
    • Well, you know, slashdot is five. I suppose when you start getting older the mind goes, so seeing something twice isn't that uncommon. I imagine that it's like how that old guy at the bar always tells the same stories over and over again.

      Don't laugh too hard, some of us may be there sooner than you think.
    • Not only is it a double post, but they also posted a story [] on a similar product a few months ago.

      Though it's looking like that company is pretty much defunct, you'd think Slashdot'd tone down the excitement a few notches, considering that they'd already hyped exactly the same techology.

  • EEEK! (Score:4, Funny)

    by CoolVibe ( 11466 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:44AM (#4366681) Journal
    Oh sorry... that green color of slashdot just LEAPED at me...
  • What??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by iplayfast ( 166447 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:46AM (#4366695)

    • Re:What??? (Score:3, Insightful)

      You know, I actually remember TV commercials for TVs that demonstrated the picture. "Look at this great picture!" Not sure how that was supposed to impress anyone when the picture CAN'T be any better than the set that you see the commercial on. In fact, it'd look downright lousy on any set owned by their target audience.
      • Re:What??? (Score:2, Funny)

        by Fjord ( 99230 )
        It works because there is a person on the TV telling them it's a great picture.
      • What they do to make the image seem that much sharper/clearer is to make the rest of the image blury or out of focus. This results in their new TV looking super sharp on your not so sharp TV. Simple, but it works.
      • I always thought that this was one of the reasons HDTV was slow to catch on (political shenanigans notwithstanding).

        FOX used to run these ads that had a little, shitty picture at first, with (?!?) bad sound.. then it expanded to encompass the full glorious resolution and sound of... my regular TV.. to demonstrate the hi-def superiority. Made me laugh every time. People are impressed by HDTV when they see a real one, but how often is that?

        Back OT - does anyone know if this Sharp model 3D LCD does that half-brightness' thing when switching to 3D? I remember an earlier prototype used 2 LCD panes to simulate the effect, with the result being that one mode had half the brightness.

    • What did you expect the screen shots (shots of the screen, or computer grabbed shots of stuff on the screen which would be grabbed from the framebuffer anyway) to show you. Unless you have a 3D monitor and some software to interpret the shots in 3D all you would have seen was a really screwed up looking image on a display. Not worth it. The seems like a technology you have to see in real life to get the full effect.
  • 3D Games Suck! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drunken Coward ( 574991 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:47AM (#4366697)
    Well, they did a few years back anyway. I remember my friend challenged me to a game of Rise of The Triad in a booth at some theme park. The main attraction was that to see the game you got to wear these fancy looking 3D goggles. It was something like $3 a person, so I figured what the hell.

    That was the worst first person shooter experience I've ever had. Maybe the goggles weren't focused right, but I got incredibly dizzy from playing it and ended up not being able to do much at all. Maybe a slower game like Icewind Dale II would be more playable in 3D, but then, what would the point of that be?
    • IIRC Rise of the Triad was doomlike in that the enemys were flat bitmaps that changed based on your position. Plus, I also seem to recall being able to look up and down (unlike doom) but there was an odd warping to the view (although I may be recalling this from Duke Nukem). One more thing that may have contributed to your dizziness was the gait of the player while walking: it's been documented that the bobbing that doom did leads to motion sickness when wearing imersive goggles because you yourself aren't bobbing up and down. Regardless, I don't think it was a good game to try out.

      I had a pair of V-IOpener googles in 1997 (still have em but don't have the PC converter anymore). They were pretty badass, and the best game to play was Descent, as it had fluid movement, true 3D, and a natvie mode for the VIOs that would use the head tracker as well.
      • I had a pair of V-IOpener googles in 1997

        "googles"? *grin* I think I know which search engine you use the most. You're not the first one to commit that fingerfart.

      • yes rise of the triads main fault was that it was more or less(probably more) hacked up version of the wolfenstein 3d engine. i don't recall it having up/down though. ultima underworld did have some up/down tilting, which warped the textures.

        besides, most people got sick of playing rott even without glasses, and it had nothing to do with the motion.

        being 3d won't make the story/playability any better i'm afraid..
    • Well, they did a few years back anyway.

      Thank you for generalizing an experience you had in an amusement park in the mid 1990s to todays story about LCD monitors.
    • Hmm.. Your nick is "drunky" and you complain about getting dizzy while playing 3D games at a theme park. I used to play this game called Frat Party, but had to give up after 5 years. It would always make me dizzy, and I would usually not end up being able to do much at all near the end of the game..
  • 3D is cool... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by netphilter ( 549954 )
    ...but holograph is where it's at. I want to interact with my entertainment.
  • ...because that's probably the only way I'm going to be able to afford one of these. Now what do I tell my bank...?
  • I'm not a rocket scientist, so if anyone more clued-in on the inner workings of monitors and 3d game engines could explain to me: can we ever expect something with a similar effect working on a CRT monitor?
    • Not without 3D glasses. The CRT can provide part of what is needed to produce a 3D effect(and must), but cannot do so without the help of the infamous flickering goggles.
      • Actually, after a brief look, it looks like they can. Since your left and right eyes are looking from a different angle, they can give each eye a different image "by controlling the path of travel of light from the display"

        I imagine you can't move your head a whole lot, though, and it would have to stay somewhere in the middle. You may even have to calibrate it to account for differing eye spacing. I bet it looks fantastics if you sitting in the "sweet spot", though.

        • The missing element from ordinary monitors(CRT or LCD) is a lens that makes it all work. The lens sits in front of the screen and lets your left eye see the odd columns of pixels, and lets your right eye see the even column of pixels. This lets the monitor display different pictures to each eye. Its similar to how those 3D posters at the movie theater work. You would need to buy the lens as an add-on(which would probably be near impossible since the placement needs to be so exact.
        • What would be really cool would be if the display can monitor the position of your eyes and modify the display accordingly, so as you move your head, or shift slightly sideways, it automatically adjusts so that you still get the perfect 3d display.
    • No. And yes. Certainly it cannot be done without some help, as the monitors don't have any parallax controls on them. However, they can certainly display tow images of the same scene, side-by-side. If you are good at the magic-eye type stuff, you will be able to see it. Otherwise, not. In fact, you could make it display magic-eye type pictures in real time, but that would be harder to see, monochrome, and more disorienting. Alternatively, you could wear red-and-blue 3d goggles, which makes your vision effectively monochromatic, but has much better 3d quality. Apple's prettydesktopwidget called Gerbils did this, IIRC.
    • CRT screens are blurred - even if you could add the extra layer to allow each eye to see different pixels, I'm pretty sure the effect wouldn't be all that good as the CRT will blur the two pixels together slightly - more so at higher resolutions.

      Fundamentally, this is new technology which won't be prevailant for years. By the time it happens, CRTs will be dead and buried. TFT screens are getting so good/cheap that the CRT will become obsolete over the next couple of years. The colour reproduction in some TFT screens [] is pretty much as good as CRTs and the resolution of others is way higher than that of a CRT. Combine the two with a good viewing angle and you'll never want a CRT ever again...

  • I am moderating the slashdot website as -1: Redundant.
  • now we'll be able to read slashdot in 3D.
  • more info (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dizzo ( 443720 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:50AM (#4366716)
  • Slashdot's five years old today, and so much has changed in those five years, except for one thing: double posts.
  • REPOST!!! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by SETY ( 46845 )
    This was posted Sept 27/02
    Here's the link:
    Repost []
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:54AM (#4366755) Homepage Journal
    I can think of one really cool application. Maptech makes a product called terrain navigator which shows USGS topos in 3D using the standard 1950s 3D movie style glasses. However, dedicating the color dimension to getting a 3D effect means the information densities you can get on the screen are somewhat lessened. Governments often spend a lot of money to get higher resolution elevation data. I know of several counties in FL that have 1m LIDAR for their entire county for flood control. Combine this with color aerial photography and you have a kick-ass visiualization system.

    The technique used in the display reminds me of the old 3D post cards.
    • I do architectural visualization work - one major application of this is a way to have an immersive presentation space in-office without having to drop major jack on a C.A.V.E. setup (three walls and a floor plus shutterglasses).

      Client could come in, sit in out conference room, and we could pop up their design onscreen, hit the 3D switch, and suddenly they're seeing the design in a semi-immersive environment.

      I'll take one in 60", please.

  • Unlikely (Score:3, Funny)

    by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <physics_seeker AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:54AM (#4366756)
    Three dimensional vectors are composed of three numbers. 2d vectors have two. This much is obvious. What's slightly less obvious is that moving from 3d to 2d results in a loss of information (50%, in fact). If any of you followed the Shannon story from the other day you'd know that Loss of information = increase in entropy = heat. Therefore, when you hit the switch to move from 3d to 2d mode, your computer is going to get hot. Exactly how hot will be dictated by the amount of data on-screen and in-memory but my back of the envelope calculations here indicate that it will be roughly 3 GeV. Assuming a tower-sized case and 19" monitor made of metal and plastic, that translates to a 50F increase, which would probably melt the thing.

    So I call hoax.

    • Likely (Score:3, Informative)

      by Finuvir ( 596566 )
      So when you forgot everything you might once have known about thermodynamics, did you get hot (because of loss of intormation)? Energy is conserved, entropy increases all of the time (pretty much...). It is not true that an increase in entropy will result in excess heat (energy). Nor is it true that simply ignoring available information increases entropy.
      And if your calculation of 1/3 = 50% is anything to go by, your 50F increase is probably way off anyway (even if the theory was sound)
      Entropy is often explained by comparison to disorder or loss of information, but it is neither of these, it is a function of state of any thermodynamic system. And it cannot create heat out of nothing.
    • Doesn't it also make sense that if your 3d/paralax generating display is in a separate element of the display that in order to switch to 2D, you simply shut off power to the element? I.E: less power == less heat.
    • by your reasoning, when I close my eyes, my brain should boil
    • What you fail to note is that as the information increases from 2d to 3d, it increases information, thus decreasing heat (by 50%). When it goes from 3d back to 2d, it only decreases information by 33%, so actually this story ties to the "little ice age" story from a few days back.

      Sheesh...only on Slashdot would we have thermodynamics humour.
  • Cool! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Russ Nelson ( 33911 )
    Cool! Hey, somebody should submit this as a story to Slashdot. I know the people there would love to hear about it... again.
  • Does anyone know what the vieuwing distance must be to see the 3D effect?

    I think that "parellax-barrier" only works when you are right in front of it and at a certain distance from the screen. Else, for instance, the data for the right eye will meet the left eye, thus killing the effect.

    Can anyone confirm this?
    • One would assume that you would only need to shift the parallex barrier left or right to adjust the image displacement to correspond to a comfortable viewing distance. However, they're pretty light on details about how this parallax barrier works (is it reflective? Does it route light like fiber? What the hell?) So I couldn't say for sure.

      Perhaps someone with experience in what Sony claims is "an older, well-known approach to generating a stereo display" could give us a better idea.
      • Perhaps someone with experience in what Sony claims is "an older, well-known approach to generating a stereo display" could give us a better idea.

        One such method is called lenticular [].

        Previous Slashdot articles about different 3D LCDs: here [] and here [].

    • I think you are right - you have to sit in the right position. I wonder how sensitive it is.

      Prediction: a few years down the line they will be able to track the exact location of your eyes and adjust for an optimal 3D experience.

  • The cool thing is... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EchoMirage ( 29419 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @09:58AM (#4366790)
    The cool thing about this product is that it's being marketed by a big company, namely Sharp, and not some no-name startup that promises to "revolutionize the world" but never gets its product to market. There's a much higher chance of actual success when a big company like Sharp is involved. From the site, they've also done the following:
    In 1973, Sharp was the first to successfully mass produce LCDs for use in electronic calculators. Since then, we have actively promoted innovation in display technologies, going from simple numeric displays to dot-matrix graphic displays, moving from monochrome to color displays, and on to full-motion video displays.
    Cool stuff.
    • Three years ago we purchased a similar display system from Sanyo. Their product never took off, so I don't think that a "big company" is the only requirement for it to take off.

      The problem with the Sanyo display was that, a) it had a very small "sweet-spot" in which you could actually view the stereo image; b) the technque of using a "paralax barrier" means that you halve the vertical resolution as each alternate column goes to only one eye; and c) you get slight visual artifacts as a combination of both of the first two points. Oh, and it is definately not cheap.

      Actually.. Sharp's press release is a fairly accurate description of the system Sony was producing back in '99. Good luck to them!

  • Now we are going to see even MORE Pr0n pop-up ads and spam advertising "TRUE 3D TEENS"

  • Cost advantage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aksansai ( 56788 )
    The nice thing about emerging technologies is that it tends to lower the cost (and eventually the consumer price) of "legacy" devices already deployed. I'd much rather have a 21" flat panel for the price of a 15" flat panel. Even better, it will allow standard 2D flat panel screens to retire CRT-based monitors as the mainstream display device.
  • The other story was about a 3D monitor yet, but this one is switchable.

    as in.. 2d.. 3D...2d... 3d..

    I feel dizzy... whoah
  • From the 'Slashdot turns 5 post':
    "Here's hoping we're here 5 years from now doing exactly the same thing with the same folks."

    Yup, I'm sure we'll all be here in 2007, re-reading week old news...
  • by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @10:12AM (#4366876) Homepage Journal
    This is semi-ontopic, but I wanted to say that Sharp make what are probably the best TFTs out there right now, so when this screen hits the market, it'll probably be a stunner.

    Sharp were also the first to produce 16" TFTs (one of which I own) which while double the price of the cheapest 15" displays, have a response rate of *half* what normal TFTs have, sRGB profiling, dual inputs (VGA/DVI), and a 1280x1024 resolution.. compared to the awful 1024 of most smaller TFTs. The 18" Sharp TFTs are pretty much the same, but larger, and oh so sweet. The 16" TFT is 104dpi. With ClearType, that leads to 300dpi (horizontal) goodness on text.

    Another thing Sharp has pioneered is 'slim bezel'. Most Sharp TFTs have a bezel of about 1cm, compared to the horrid 3cm+ bezels of most TFTs.

    Sharp are the kings of TFT (except, perhaps, IBM who produces those 300dpi dowickeys), and anything they produce has got to be hot.
  • by Mr. Moose ( 124255 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @10:14AM (#4366886)
    I wanna see a screenshot of that 3D-effect. Every time nVidia and friends makes a new 3D GFX-Card, we almost drown in screenshots. Sharp could learn something from their marketing dep.
  • by N8F8 ( 4562 )
    Not Another LCD Story. At least not until Wal Mart is selling them for $199.
  • Let me enlighten you on a few vision science basics.

    Objects are perceived as the same distance away when light takes the same amount of time to traverse from each of the objects. Therefore you can imagine the world as a series of concentric spheres about your eyes, each sphere representing a "plane" of distance. In order to create the illusion of 3d on a 2d surface, it is required that the light traversal time be increased for those parts of the scene that are to be perceived as "deep". The problem is, while there are ways to make light go slower, the thickness of a sheet of paper (or even a computer monitor) isn't enough space in which to do it.

    Therefore, until some fundamental hurdles are overcome, 3d computing is only a pipedream.

    Sorry, I had to repost this from the previous version of this story, it was just classic.

    • These comments are not endorsed by me, just a repost of this post []
    • >Objects are perceived as the same distance away
      >when light takes the same amount of time to
      >traverse from each of the objects.

      BZZT! Wrong. While the brain is a fantastic piece of biology, variation in lightspeed from objects that surrounds you in a room or outside are way too small for you to register.

      The brain calculates differences in angles from our two eyes to find out how far away an object is, as well as references to other objects for far away objects.

      Stare at an object and open and close your right then left eye. You will notice that objects shift from left to right as you do this. Objects closer to your eyes shifts relatively more than objects further away. For objects further away, a linear approched is also used, as in object B is behind A, therefore B is further away.

      • first off, the original post was a reposting of some other jackass's comment to the story from the first go around (every day is slashback day!). i've got to assume that it was so stupid the first time around that it has been reposted for laughs. so laugh.

        anyway, what you've described (parallax) isn't our only sense of depth perception, but it's the easiest to recreate with a computer. the _other_ way we sense depth is a hell of a lot harder to recreate digitally - focus. we have to change the geometry of the lens in our eye to change focus from something that's near to something that's far. parallax displays will create a credible sense of depth, but it's still not entirely believable as both eyes are seeing the entire scene on one fixed-distance planes.
    • This is a moderately good description of part of how your head percieves sound as coming from a position but is completely irrelevant to how visual depth is percieved.

      One thing that will make or break this technology is how precise your head position has to be. It would seem to me that only an inch or so would put your left eye where your right should be. Not many folks are used to having to hold their heads that still while using a computer.

    • That's fucking brilliant. I love all the responses from the previous version []. A true classic.
  • C'mon people ... if we can get this story posted a couple more times, we could put a copy of this on the floor, ceiling, left wall, right wall, and front wall of the 3D posting room we could create with this new 3D monitor!

    This way, we could read all of the posts at one time ... in 3D!

  • For something this precise, the diagram in the link indicates that you have very little leeway as to how far to the left or right you can move your head from the center of the screen. Doesn't sound like a great joy to have to hold your head in some sweet-spot.
  • Geesh ppl.. ONE bad experience and Sharp goes permanently bad?... I remeber my Sharp MZ720 computer in 1982.. COOOOOOOOOL!.. Neway.. didnt this get /....ed.. a few of days ago?
  • Since these devices have a "sweet spot" I can see great applications for automotive applications. the passengers are ususally at a constant location (also in airplanes) these screens could be used to effectivly overlay a real picture in 3d or some other navigational data or perhaps something else clever...any other ideas...
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday October 01, 2002 @11:24AM (#4367317) Homepage Journal
    I know that this will get marked as redundant but you sheep will always give me more karma. Not only was this already posted (the link is in the second highest article in my view) but this was already on the default front page.

    It must be important if it's front page news twice.

  • All I want is:
    A bubble which I can watch 3d stuff in. Maybe have it mounted on a special table. This would be much truer to 3d, and it would be of dubious value to first-person shooters, 3rd person shooters would be pretty sweet, and strategy games would be absolutely kickass.
    As previously mentioned, I *know* that I saw one of these in an arcade years ago. I'm sure somebody should have come up with something better, can anyone find it?
    • I've always thought the ideal solution would be to have 3d glasses that can sense the position of your head. That way, as you move and turn your head the view could realistically shift in real time. combine that with a "gun" input device (for fps games, other peripheral for other types of games) that could sense its orientation in 3d space and you would have an excellent 3d experience.

      Why have the computer render things that you are not looking at?
      • In the case where there are multiple viewers. I think the destination of this technology would not only be for gamers or single users, but for presentation and maybe eventually movie-type purposes.

        On a side note, the Playdium arcades (Vancouver, Edmonton) had some games like this. The graphics were crappy wolfenstein style, and the view jerked around so much trying to detect head-motion that it made me feel ill. Somebody's working on the concept, but the application isn't ready yet.
      • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
        Where have you been? Were you alive circa-1992-94? Were you of an age to understand what was going on then?

        I can only guess that you must have been a little kid to have missed out on Virtual Reality. Really, what is today Q3A and UT grew out of the want for better 3D graphics for those systems (I am not saying VR begat Quake, but it did influence the development of 3D engines, etc). HMD's, head tracking, glove input devices, 3/6DOF position sensors, etc.

        I have a wierd feeling - I mean, back then (and less so now, but still happenning) a lot of people were developing VR systems AT HOME - using 386/486 machines, Amigas, LCD TVs (for HMDs), potentiometers and wooden arms (for head tracking) and Powergloves to interact with 3D worlds they created (most of the time using Rend386 or other homebrew 3D software).

        What has happened? Has all of this knowledge, not to mention the knowledge of the existence of this knowledge, been lost? Heck, I KNOW that can't be the case, my website has a ton of the old stuff on it - I still see new stuff appearing now and then (such as that Linux PowerGlove driver that works great with my modded PG). It seems crazy - but it is almost like you are one of a growing cadre of people who are TOTALLY unaware of this technology - and furthermore of the fact that today one can build a homebrew VR rig ULTRA-CHEAP, given some time, materials, and a little knowledge. Even if everything was bought off-the-shelf, it still would cost less than $5000.00 to do it. Buying used, or building, that cost could easily drop to below $1000.00.

        I am wondering if VR isn't undergoing something like the concept of a windowing desktop - I mean, the first such desktop didn't come about until 1969 (or was it 68?), but it took another 15-20 years before it really started to catch on, and another 10 still before it became ubiquitous - perhaps around, oh, say 2015 to 2030 I should expect VR to hit BIG, and it will be NEW and FLASHY!

    • Here's what you want... Actuality Systems []

      • Actually, I do believe they may have been behind the original item I saw. The name "Actuality Systems" sounds familiar, and the bubble looks about the same.
        $41,000USD is a bit steep for me, but damn this is cool. If it did better than just wireframe (I think it could?) then it would be sweet as a 3d spectrum analyser or as a 3d gaming extension.
    • The problem with these is not so much the physical incarnation (while difficult, it is feasible), but the data rate going to it.

      Say you want a low frame rate of 60 total updates per second, and you want an effective resolution of 50dpi (very low resolution, very slow update) and let's make it easier by using only 8bpp coloring, in a 10"x10"x10" cube - again for simplicity.

      500x500x500pixels = 125 million pixels, or roughly 120MB of data per screen update. Multiply by 60 updates per second and viola! About 7.2GB per second of data. Current video cards (even high end) can't even handle this low resolution, slow, low color display. And the scale is exponential n^3. Your video card barely has 128MB of memory.

      A 15" display, 100dpi, 75Hz update and 32bpp is going to consume just short of one terrabyte of information per second.

      Eventually the display will contain the 3d processing hardware and its own memory, and the computer will send it directx 12 commands (or opengl, or cg, or whatever).

      But for situations where the data only needs to be viewed by a single user, these displays are wicked overkill. You've only got two eyeballs, take the 200dpi displays from IBM, sony's technique, and you've got a significantly better image at lower cost.

  • Then things can really sneak up on you.

  • still no affordable > 21 inch "plain" LCD's that can display high resolutions with no ghosting or color washout... ugh.
  • ...and possibly dangerous display device?

    This device [], called TWISTER, was at the Siggraph 2002 - it consists of a drum made of of panels of LEDs that spin around the viewer standing in the middle. It was created by Kenji Tanaka, et al at Tachi Lab, University of Tokyo []. I would imagine such a device could even be built to do full 3D, perhaps by using shutter glasses of some sort synched to the scanning of the LEDs. What would also be cool is to add a head tracker that could tell which direction you are looking in, and only activate an "arc" of panels such that the view went beyond your peripheral vision, but didn't wrap around, lessening the load on the computer driving the system (why display what you can't see?)...

    Anyhow, this image was taken by Jerry Isdale, a long-time graphics/VR researcher, who attended the show (sadly, I was unable to attend - can't afford it).

    The rest of his report [] is also interesting, showcasing other 3D and VR technologies presented...

  • It says "3D/2D blah blah blah" but I see "R2D2 blah blah blah."

    God help us all.
  • I don't really think the 'switching' capability of this thing is really that impressive, considering the fact that all you have to do is throw everything on the same 'plane'... in other words, display the same image for both eyes. Not really much of an accomplishment.

    I don't even see how it could not be possible.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.