Creating the World's Largest 3D Display Screen with Mathematica

Challenge

Create vivid, lifelike images for interactive 3D viewing displays.

Solution

Use Mathematica for product development to define and assess system parameters.

Benefits

  • Enabled creation of all stereo images and animations
  • Defined structure of 3D optical filters and other system properties
  • 3D images can be seen with the naked eye, over a large viewing area
  • Opens door to exciting new industry applications

The Mathematica Edge

  • Integrated programming capabilities
  • Able to handle large datasets and complex simulations
  • Best-in-class performance for numerical linear algebra
"The combination of symbolic and numeric evaluations with the ability to produce image processing has allowed us to obtain fast, high-quality results and correctly inform the direction of subsequent development."

X3D Technologies GmbH, the leading creator of "glasses-free" 3D display screens, uses Mathematica for almost all of its product development. The company designed a 3D projection wall display with a diagonal screen size of over 15 feet (4.5 meters), which is believed to be the world's largest ever and has been featured in the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. Mathematica was essential to the realization of this technological breakthrough and the timeframe in which it was accomplished.

Development and Testing

"Glasses-free" 3D means that viewing aids such as glasses or virtual-reality helmets are not needed—the lifelike images can be seen by the naked eye at wide viewing angles and arbitrary positions. These stereo images consist of multiple, layered, 2D images or perspectives, and a key problem is to find the best distribution of perspectives that correspond to create a high-quality 3D visualization. Mathematica enables X3D Technologies GmbH to study the optical properties of these 3D images and systems, and to quickly check the effects of possible modifications. It also allows development and testing of the proprietary algorithms the company uses to produce 3D projection displays.

"The success of our 3D-display technology was due to using Mathematica from the beginning," said Dr. Ingo Relke, author, developer, and manager of the 3D projection system. "The combination of symbolic and numeric evaluations with the ability to produce image processing has allowed us to obtain fast, high-quality results and correctly inform the direction of subsequent development."

Future Applications

The creation of a large-scale glasses-free 3D display has very exciting implications for future projects in a broad array of fields, including the computer and film industries, engineering, and environmental sciences, to name a few. X3D Technologies GmbH also produces and tests other screens—all developed using Mathematica evaluation technology—ranging in size from ones for cellphones and PDAs, to midsize screens for medical imaging and gaming devices, to larger LCD and plasma screens of up to 50 inches for advertising and entertainment purposes.


More information:
  • Read an abstract of a presentation by Dr. Ingo Relke on creating stereo images for 3D displays.

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