Glasses free - Survey and future prospects

OzViz 2015
December 2015

Paul Bourke


Depth perception in visualisation is recognised as an important capability. Not surprising since stereopsis is an key component of the human visual experience and depth perception enhances our understanding of complex geometric relationships often encountered in the visualisation process. The basic requirement for any engagement of stereopsis is being able to independently present an image to each eye. This is most readily achieved with devices that allow each eye to only see the image it is supposed to see. There have been a range of technologies developed over the years to achieve this including anaglyph glasses, polaroid filters, LCD shutter glasses, narrow band wavelength filters and head mounted displays.

To many the holy grail of digital displays with depth perception is glasses free viewing. However, despite a range of possible methods to achieve this, the results to date have been disappointing. Current approaches are limited either to static images or to low resolution, both of these are considered important to the data visualisation process. Many techniques also place unacceptable positioning constraints on the viewer.

In this presentation I will outline some of the technologies behind glasses free viewing of 3D digital content and compare their relative merits. Why is it so difficult? Will the increasingly high resolution displays appearing on the market improve this? What might the future hold?

Presentation slides (pdf)