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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Lose the shades

Thanks to two UA professors and a number of other researchers, you may be able to watch “”Avatar”” and other 3-D films with your naked eye in the near future.

Leading researcher and professor Nasser Peyghambarian, and assistant research scientist Pierre Blanche are in the process of trying to develop technology that will not require audiences to wear special glasses to watch 3-D films.

“”It’s a project to make a three-dimensional display that wouldn’t require any eyeglasses,”” Peyghambarian said. “”So if you go, for example, to see Avatar, you can see that it’s in 3-D, but you need to have eyeglasses. In this case, it would be eyeglass free, so we are working on that aspect of it and also hopefully a better quality with more perspectives than what you see in the movie.””

The project uses a plastic material used to make the 3-D display and allows the researchers to do a holographic display.

“”We wanted to see if it could be done,”” Blanche said of the endeavor. “”It’s a fantastic project, I’ve loved working on it.””

Peyghambarian and Blanche started this research because 3-D has become an important requirement in many applications in recent years, Peyghambarian said.

“”There was no technology to allow one to have (3-D) without the eyeglasses, and also, the applications such as tele-presence and conferencing is growing with the Internet becoming more important with everyday life, and it looked like 3-D would be the way of the future, and I think it is,”” Peyghambarian said.

Peyghambarian believes this research could take a decade or less to reach people’s homes.

“”Ten years is a good number, but it may be faster. Technology is going so fast it wouldn’t surprise me if you had 3-D displays in your house sooner than that,”” Peyghambarian said.

For experimentation, Blanche and Peyghambarian have developed a new photorefractive polymer material that allows them to record, erase and replace 3-D images. This process leads to a series of images that deliver three-dimensional action, which can be observed without special eyewear.

“”We are trying to go faster to achieve a rate where you see the image moving,”” Blanche said of the material.

“”In the first display, we can print an image and, every two hours, print another one,”” he added. “”Then we wondered how fast we could go with the images.””

Peyghambarian has already spent more than 10 years working on the 3-D material.

“”At first, it was really basic material research and science,”” Blanche said of the project. “”We decided to take on this project because the material available to us was good enough to think about that kind of (3-D) application.””

Blanche and Peyghambarian approached the university about their research nearly a decade ago and began their project to develop a 3-D display.

Peyghambarian believes there’s a convenient appeal to the 3-D experience without special eyeglasses.

“”The eyeglasses are usually a problem for some people. These people sometimes go to movies in 3-D, and after a while, they take off their eyeglasses,”” Peyghambarian said. “”The psychology of the person looking at the 3-D image, the technology is not OK for some people, and these people get dizzy in some cases, so having a technology that doesn’t require eyeglasses is interesting.””

The U.S. Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are funding the project.

“”The main thing is if it will work, and how well it will work, and how expensive it will be,”” Peyghambarian said of the future of the project.

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