On tap at Microsoft: A 3D display without glasses and multiple programs at once

Imagine you and your friends could play multiplayer "Halo" without the screen split into quarters. Or that you could watch the World Cup while your kids watch "Dora the Explorer" -- on the same television screen. And all in 3D.

That's what a small team at Microsoft's Applied Sciences Lab is doing. Their new "wedge" optical technology makes it possible for screens to display different images to different people at the same time, show three-dimensional images without the need for 3D glasses, detect things that are placed on the screen, and respond to touch and proximity.

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Psychotica3078d ago

Sounds frigging awesome!!

Briefcase Joe3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

Sounds expensive. A good article for a change on N4G.

captain-obvious3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

that (in the vid) looks nice i have to say

rockleex3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

"This is the first time we've ever been able to steer light in space..."

I thought fiber-optics steer light too?

Anyways, according to the article this is not coming out anytime soon. They still have a lot of stuff to work out.

Conloles3078d ago

This is where there huge R+D budget is going too, hopefully this doesnt get canned like Courier.

SonySoldiers3078d ago

has anger arguments to spin hard this super cool 3D

Watch fanboys are disagree or saying it's too expensive.. they proudly thought the PS3 was the only expensive toy in the world ;)

nycredude3078d ago

That shit looks like it needs ton of work. At it's present state it looks like a cheap hologram from a cracker jack box.

Bereaver3078d ago

Actually, there was an article like this a LONG time ago (not on N4G) about the college that developed the ability to steer light. It's amazing technology.

nickjkl3078d ago

people are just trying to take down 3d with glasses with everything they have

pustulio3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )


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scott1823078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

For some time now I thought. I wouldn't be suprised if Samsung and Sony are researching the same thing. The problem is it will never see the light of day until the production cost comes down. 3D with glasses are the best solution right now because it still looks great.

I will wait until something like this does come out though, regardless of who makes it, I don't want to wear glasses while I watch t.v.

sikbeta3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

@Sony haters

But Guys, I thought you were WHINING cos 3D is "Gimmick" and 3DTVS are Expensive, now it's Not?

WoW, way to change your mind pretty fast guys, also based on what the article said, this needs a lot of work and more time, I want to know how much expensive will be, but hey, 3D is cool for you now, right? right?

Arnon3077d ago

"cos 3D is "Gimmick" and 3DTVS are Expensive"

a 3DTV, glasses and any other peripheral wouldn't be needed for this. So in actuality, it isn't a gimmick, nor would it be as expensive.

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beardpapa3077d ago

I thought 3D was a gimmick, but suddenly people in this article praise it?

Have you guys seen those holographic arcade games back in the mid 80s? Do you really want that kind of shoddy fidelity in your living room?

I'd rather have the option of turning it off since this wedge display is physical and permanent. Remember? A lot of people in this site like "having options."
Does that sound familiar?

Hideo_Kojima3077d ago (Edited 3077d ago )

I don't think anyone will believe me but... I had a similar idea :(

When I found out how shutter glasses work I thought why don't they make it so that one person wears 2 left eye lenses and the other wears 2 right eye lenses so that they could each watch something different on the same TV?

My idea was to mix that technology with this technology and have people walking around a room and seeing the games from a different perspective...

IaMs123077d ago

Ill only accept 3D without the glasses im sorry but the glasses would take away from the experience for me. Good Job hope this continues to develop and hope see something soon

SkyGamer3077d ago


I can't speak for the others but I don't like 3d anyform because I would hate to wear glasses all the time and too much of that and I will get serious migraines. Now if they come out with 3d without glasses, cool, regardless of company.

Folezicle3077d ago

I laugh how a lot of the time PS3 Fan-boys beel its there duty to report articles that are pending with positive feedback to the 360.. Fan-boyism of any kind is stupid.. Sorry if i heart the Sony Soldiers, but your just as sad as the Halo Fans

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Cold 20003078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

Yeah awesome indeed. But this sounds almost too good to be true. It would be crazy if they manage to pull it off though.

sinclaircrown3077d ago

I saw a 3DTV at CES this year that didn't require glasses. Its a long way off production I think, and although looked too distorted sometimes, there was moments were it looked awesome.

Its only a matter of time before they perfect it, but I would say at least 10 years before these go mainstream.

BABY-JEDI3077d ago

Companies developing different approaches to 3D. This looks promising but still a long way off from the required standard. But keep up the good work ; )

beardpapa3077d ago (Edited 3077d ago )

Except Cold, it'd be too expensive and unsuitable for the consumer market (just like Surface). Great for sidewalk ad space like the Sprint store in San Francisco.

The technology is nothing new. This 'wedge' display is like those 'holographic' bookmarkers you get at Borders or Barnes & Noble where if you tilt the bookmark a bit left or right you'd get a different image.

The only difference here is there's a camera in the back to track the viewer's head so that the computer knows where the viewer is in relationship with the display. That way, the computer can determine how and where to project the images so the specific viewer can see them as they shift locations.

It's impressive, but I'd say it gives that strange shutter-like effect similar to those bookmarks.

El_Colombiano3077d ago

Damn bearpapa, that sounds awesome and ridiculously expensive at the same time. I hope that this will hit casual homes in the next fifteen years no doubt.

WildArmed3077d ago

The only problem with this is that it's just for one person.
It really isn't an expereince I want in my living room where more than 4 people are in it at a time.

It's great in theory, but a waste of resources if it just works for one person (the person being headtracked).

but it would be a crazy experience never the less

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Trey_4_life3077d ago

Lol am i the only one here that can smell FAIL?

MNicholas3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

If two people are watching two different shows how will they each hear only their show?

It's because of such fundamental flaws in transitioning to real world applications that such devices have not come to market.

Rekyyli3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

"If two people are watching two different shows how will they each hear only their show?"

- Maybe two separate audio output channels and headphones.

edhe3078d ago

Could direct the audio in a narrow field using the same positioning tech.

But yes, that's the question.

MNicholas3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

it defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

cliffbo3078d ago

sharp did it last year you have to wear headsets to hear each channel not practical IMO.

sonnyz3078d ago

I think only one person would have to wear headphones...

IdleLeeSiuLung3078d ago

Nope, it is the fundamental flaw that applies on technology suitable for something applying it to something else and then claiming it doesn't work.

It is also the fundamental flaw of not considering options and being pessimistic.

Theonik3077d ago

There is technology out there that can project sound just to one viewer. I actually saw it on Discovery channel. Can anyone get the link?

Consoldtobots3077d ago

wait wait....

so the same people that say they dont wan't to look silly wearing 3d glasses would have no problem with everyone sitting in front of a TV wearing a headset?

oh the hypocrisy.

likedamaster3077d ago

To be honest... headphones > glasses

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D4RkNIKON3078d ago

Wouldn't this only work for one person at a time tho? like the 3DS?

branchedout3078d ago

"Their new "wedge" optical technology makes it possible for screens to display different images to different people at the same time,"

Taken from the excerpt.

NoBias3078d ago

That's the whole point of the article.

cjflora3077d ago

I'm very curious as to how that works, and would like to see it in action. Pretty cool if they can do it, but what are the limitations?

webeblazing3077d ago

the thing is how many people the biggest tv in peoples house is usually in the livingroom or den. the the most cant be 3 people even tho this is good and its a start. good luck MS

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ISay3078d ago

this is what Microsoft does they get all excited about new tec and than they never manage to put a proper product out, where is that touch screen coffee table? oh ya, that became an ipad because you waited to long. i heard of interlaced video about a year and a half 2 years maybe i like the idea but its talk if you cant mock something up make it shinny and then tell house wife's they cant live without it. good luck imean it

The Lazy One3075d ago

There are tons of tablet PCs that run on windows. Surface (the thing you're referring to) is already released, it's just expensive because it's not a consumer product. It's more developed for businesses like restaurants or whatever to have their clientèle use while they eat or whatever or for businesses to use during meetings and stuff.

cjflora3077d ago

Why are people talking about Microsoft vs. Sony in this thread? This isn't an Xbox vs PS3 thing at all. I prefer the PS3, and would call myself a PS3 fanboy, but that doesn't stop me from thinking this is pretty bad ass if they can pull it off. I like my PS3, and have my problems with the 360, but I'll still use Microsoft products if they're good and don't have a 54% failure rate. I love Windows 7, and think their Surface project is cool. If they can prove that they can pull off good hardware I'll buy it.

Consoldtobots3077d ago

it's called butthurt, Sony innovates while microsoft stagnates. You really think they won't jump at ANYTHING that attempts to redeem their employers god-awful image with consumers?

DigitalAnalog3077d ago (Edited 3077d ago )

The REAL question is:

How is Greenburg gonna SPIN this? Didn't he diss the 3D technology a while back?

"To Greenberg, it's not a question of technology (or lack thereof) that's holding back 3D, it's the home environment. "I don't know about you, but when I play games or watch TV, I've got my phone, I've got all kinds of things going on. I get up, I get down, I'm looking outside at the weather and it's ... I'm not in a dark theater, wearing glasses, staring at a screen. I think it's just a different environment."


-End statement

The Lazy One3075d ago

That's kind of supporting him. This TV is designed for the home user. You can move around and everything and the TV will adapt the picture to you rather than you having to adapt to the TV (putting on glasses).

1Victor3077d ago

Agree it sound and looks awesome as well, but how many times we're going to see this same video and article before we get bored

r1sh123077d ago

I dont care what any Sony fanboy says, should this make it to the consumer market there wouldnt be a need to buy those stupid glasses.
This slate does the job of the glasses for everyone in the room.
If I buy a 3dtv, and suddenly 10 people come around to watch some sports, I dont have to purchase an extra 6 set of glaasses.

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ECM0NEY3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )


Perjoss3078d ago

I thought MS only did good software :)

edhe3078d ago

Their R&D is HUGE. But not a lot of it will actually see light of day.

How old is surface? and that's not available is it ?

They could do with someone else to drive them to getting products out of their ideas... I'd love to see this telly - it would be fudging awesome to be able to game in 3d without glasses whilst the other half watched her soaps.

RememberThe3573078d ago

I actually post a similar comment in a duplicate of this story. MS has some seriously cool R&D stuff that they do. I wish they would bring more of it to market though. I really think the next ten years we will start seeing a lot of the cool things they've come up with in our everyday lives.

cjflora3077d ago

I don't think Surface is intended for home users. I'm pretty sure it was intended for use in public places, like restaurants and such. They probably eventually expected home use, but not until it was WAY cheaper to provide, or they had a more home user friendly version of it.

The Meerkat3078d ago

This the THE game changer.

TEFL0N_D0N_813078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

Looks so sick that HIV would be scared to catch it.

koehler833078d ago

You must have been one of those people who were touting Natal as the future, last year.

"First step toward the holodeck" or some crap like that, right?

Yeah. Smoke and Mirrors.

Maybe David Copperfield has the next big thing in 3D tech.

mosasha3078d ago

niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiice

Hellsvacancy3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

WHAT? it didnt look like anyhin 2 me, i thought MS wasnt interested in 3D anyway?

Edit: Meerkat, if i aint interested in Sonys 3D tech what chance does MS hav? NONE!!!

blasian3078d ago

Theyre waiting for sony and ninty to start it up so they can be ready to jump in when it gets good.

Applegate3078d ago

I thought Sony said Rumble wasnt needed this gen ?

Biggest3078d ago

And just the other day Microsoft said it was rudimentary and unnecessary.

Sez 3077d ago

Didn't MS, and Sony laugh at nintendo for motion controls at the beginning of this gen And look now. Both companies are now trying to copy the sucess of the wii. See I could play this game Too

Spydiggity3077d ago

It's cuz nintendo is the adult of the industry. the other 2 companies are children following daddy's lead. they really just have no idea what they are doing and are playing follow the leader...simple.

sony and ms only care about money. nintendo tries new things and sometimes fails and sometimes hits a home run. they let nintendo take the risks, then invest in the money makers.

The Meerkat3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

They are offering proper 3D with different images beamed into each eye.
4 player multiplayer with a different image for each player from ONE screen!!
No glasses.
Its [email protected] Star Trek stuff and you're not impressed?

Can you say F..A...N...B....O...Y?

cjflora3077d ago

Cell phones are star trek technology. We've become a jaded society with technology. If they ever reveal time travel or teleporting people will just say "It's about freaking time, stupid scientists and their slow inventions."

smokeybeef3077d ago

I believe it can only support two players 3D