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World's First 3D Webcam Tested 124

CNETNate writes "The world's first 3D webcam not only takes anaglyphic images, but will let you have a stereoscopic 3D video chat over the Internet. It's the work of a unique camera called 'Minoru,' which has been tested and documented in a feature today. Be warned though: anaglyphic photography was clearly not invented to create comfortably-viewable videos."
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World's First 3D Webcam Tested

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  • by jhfry ( 829244 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:00PM (#28724219)

    The problem with all 3d is that the lenses on the glasses must be calibrated to the colors on the display for optimal effect. For example if the images appear in the wrong shade of blue and red, you might begin to see both images in both eyes (no 3d).

    With a properly calibrated display and some good quality glasses I'd bet the effect is quite good.

  • by Tacvek ( 948259 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @10:36PM (#28725595) Journal

    I'm guessing this works by having two liquid crystal layers.

    A liquid crystal layer has two states. in one state light passes through with no change to the polarization. In the other state, there is a 90 degree change in polarization.

    So take a bog standard LCD monitor. Add a large single segment liquid crystal layer to the front. So this new layer has just one giant pixel, making it very inexpensive. (In reality for performance reasons you would probably use multiple smaller segments, but you don't need anywhere near one per pixel.)

    Now we need to add a bit more electronics. For 3d we need two image sources, but we only have one screen to display them. So we add some hardware to interleave the images. If we were going really high-end, we might use a monitor that supports a 120 Hz framerate. Then we can interleave the two 60 Hz images without any loss. Otherwise, we do every other frame, and thus lose half of our framerate.

    Now all we do is swap that second liquid crystal layer to the opposite polarization at each Vsync. A trival way to do that would be to drive the monitor second liquid crystal from a toggle flip-flop, clocked by Vsync. In reality one would probably do something a bit more sophisticated, so as to ensure left single is always up/down, and right is always left/right, or vice versa.

    Does anybody know if that is what they do? If not, are there any particular issues with what I described above?

  • Linux and OSX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Friday July 17, 2009 @02:02AM (#28726499) Homepage Journal

    How long must I wait for OSX or Linux drivers for this thing? Should I just give up and make my own V4L filter that can color shift and merge two webcams into one? (should be easy, but do I want to glue to cameras together that badly)

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI