Sony Corp. plans to showcase a 360° autostereoscopic 3D display at Siggraph conference in late July, 2010. Although the display is far from mass production and has a lot of chances not to reach it at all, the demonstration of the device by a leading maker of consumer electronics is very noteworthy by itself.
Sony’s 360° autostereoscopic display allows views of full-color volumetric objects from all angles, as if the objects really exist. It uses special LED light sources to show 360 unique images to all directions in one-degree separations. Viewers can sense the depth of the displayed object because their left and right eyes are seeing different images. Naturally, no special 3D glasses are needed to see the 3D image.
The 360° display has a digital-video input port for connection to computers or other devices. When video data is supplied to the display, moving volumetric objects appear inside the cylinder. When 360° CG movies are generated by a graphic processor in real time and supplied to the display, the user can move and interact with the volumetric object. The display is also equipped with a gesture sensor that can interactively control the orientation of the object in response to the user's hand motions.
This system is the first volumetric 3D display device that features a high-quality 3D image (360 view points), 24-bit full color, a compact size, and interactive live motion with digital video interface. It has many potential applications, such as amusement, professional visualization, digital signage, museum display, video games, and futuristic 3D telecommunication.
Considering that the movies should be generated by graphics processor, the device probably requires a rather powerful GPU to “convert” traditional movies into its proprietary autostereoscopic 3D format.