The most common method of creating a 3D illusion is said to be based on autostereoscopic display, which uses parallax. The method involves presenting each eye with a slightly different angle of a scene with the help of microlenses that project a small amount of light.
While this method has a lot of pros and is used in commercial products such as the Nintendo 3DS, the narrow viewing angle it produces presents a challenge to larger displays.
However, researchers at the Chengdu Technological University and Sichuan University are said to have corrected the issue by replacing the microlenses with microsphere lenses. A prototype based on this technology has been built, which demonstrates that the large curvature of spherical lenses increases the viewing angle from 20-30º to 32º and a theoretical viewing angle of up to 90º.
“The greatest significance is that we propose a cheap and simple way to fabricate a lens array which can bring a wider viewing angle,” said lead author Guo-Jiao Lv at Chengdu Technological University.
Another disadvantage in microsphere lenses is crosstalk, meaning when light from the right and left channels leak into each other. The problem has been resolved by concentrating light from each lens into a small area, but at the expense brightness and overall optical efficiency which the scientists claim to be able to solve in the near future.
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