Microspherical Lenses Bypass 3D Angle Issues

Glasses-free 3D is seen as the ‘holy grail’ of 3D display. The technology has several drawbacks, such as viewing ‘sweet spots’, but a team of researchers at Chengdu Technological University and Sichuan University are working on making auto-stereo 3D viable.

The work revolves around the use of microsphere-lens (MSL) arrays on the display, rather than flat microlenses. Parallax barrier technology, which most auto-stereo 3D is based on, has a viewing angle of between 20° and 30°. These lenses, however, have boosted the viewing angle to 32°, with a theoretical maximum of 90°.

Ball placement technology means that MSL arrays can be manufactured easily, so displays could be made at a low cost. MSL technology also lowers crosstalk, said the researchers, although focusing light in this way does lower brightness. The researchers plan to address this in the future, as well as improving the resolution and optical efficiency. They are also attempting to slim the display down, as the MSL array adds to its thickness.

The work was published in IEEE’s Journal of Display Technology: