3-D Viewing without Goofy Glasses

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With the release of a new set of 3-D video screens next week, Philips Electronics is bringing a sci-fi cinema standby a little closer to everyday use.

Philips’ WOWvx displays–which allow viewers to perceive high-quality 3-D images without the need for special glasses–are now beginning to appear in shopping malls, movie-theatre lobbies, and theme parks worldwide.

The technology uses image-processing software, plus display hardware that includes sheets of tiny lenses atop LCD screens. The lenses project slightly different images to viewers’ left and right eyes, which the brain translates into a perception of depth.

For now, the screens are expensive and not yet marketed for home use. But Philips, which first released the technology in 2006, is working on technical improvements that will make the screens better suited for the home.

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