SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Bram Riemens was beaming. So was his 50-inch, ultra-HD, glasses-free 3DTV.
The systems architect is one of about eight former Philips engineers who salvaged the auto-stereoscopic 3DTV technology they developed after the Dutch giant canned the project in 2009. Today, Riemens displayed the much revamped technology as one of about two dozen demos at an event sponsored by Qualcomm here.
The result was compelling from about three meters. It was significantly smoother than the former Philips approach, although when a viewer moves, images still show some blurring.
Bram Riemens of SeeCubic shows his ultra-HD, glasses-free 3DTV.
StreamTV Networks, the funder behind Philips spinoff SeeCubic BV, cut a deal with China's Hisense to bring the technology to market, perhaps before the end of the year. It hopes to have versions available for smaller-screen TVs and even tablets in 2014. It adds less than 10 percent to the cost of the host display, the company claims.
Riemens said the SeeCubic engineers abandoned the lenticular array Philips used in favor of a new optical overlay. It can be placed on any LCD using a system SeeCubic designed.
The method requires two small PC boards. One processes 3D content into the format SeeCubic uses; another contains an ASIC that maps the content on a per-pixel basis to the optical overlay. The content processing used to be done on a PC, but for the demo SeeCubic used a Snapdragon running flat-out and cooled by a fan.
The startup hopes to be the first to bring glasses-free 3DTV to the mainstream, although Toshiba is said to be in hot pursuit. A handful of startups also are taking aim at the less cost- and quality-sensitive market for digital signs that don't require glasses.
The following pages provide a small selection of demos and presentations from the Hardware Day event that Qualcomm hopes to make a part of its annual Uplinq conference.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon running flat-out handled content processing.