Head Mounted 3D Displays
Head mounted displays, also called video glasses, have a separate LCD or OLED eyepiece for each eye. This allows the left and right images in a stereo pair to be fed to them separately just as they are with the much less sophisticated View- Master. In some respects it’s like parallel freeviewing side by side pairs but there is no way either eye can see the image meant for the other so there is no ghosting.
Initially very geeky, newer designs have dramatically lightened the glasses so they no longer make you appear as if you are participating in some virtual reality experiment. Along with stereo games, images and movies, you also get stereo audio through a set of integrated earplugs.
Video glasses are available that support all popular formats of 3D stereoscopic video including side-by-side and anaglyph and
which work with any video device. Courtesy of www.MyVu.com
Ideally a head mounted display hooks up to any standard video source, including game machines, optical drives and mobile devices. This technology makes you wonder why a very expensive 3D TV with shutter glasses needs to be part of the 3D experience. Since you have to wear glasses anyway, why not just feed the images to them directly?
Although more a handheld device than wearable glasses, Cyclopital3D’s digital viewer feeds the left and right images in a stereo pair to separate 800 x 480 displays. The viewer has 16GB of built-in memory to hold photos. It is based on the original 1830’s Wheatstone design that uses mirrors to maximize the field of view. One of this viewers biggest advantages is that it’s portable and battery powered, freeing you from a wireless tether to a computer.
The Cyclopital3D Digital Stereoscope feeds separate images to each eye. Courtesy of Cyclopital3D at www.cyclopital3d.com
When considering video glasses to buy, here are some things to look into more carefully:
- Connections. Can the glasses be connected to the devices you want to use them with. Possibilities include DVD players, video game systems, iPods and virtually any device that has a video signal output.
- Virtual screen size and viewing distance. These are often mentioned in the specs. For example, a pair of glasses may simulate an 80" television screen from 2 meters away, in a dark room.
- Aspect ratios. Can the glasses cover the standard TV aspect ratio of 4:3 and the HDTV ratio of 16:9 or both.
- Are the glasses switchable between 2D and 3D content?
- Are they wearable over your prescription eyeglasses or reading glasses?
- Do they have focus adjustments for each lens?
- Do they let you view side-by-side and multiple anaglyph 3D formats?
- Resolution is everything when it comes to image quality. 800 x 600 is common.
- What is the scan rate and type? A 60Hz progressive scan for each eye is normal.