MirraViz Offers Multiple Content Shown on One Projector Screen at the Same Time

By Norbert Hildebrand
subscribe

During E3, the California based company MirraViz announced and demonstrated a system that allows multiple viewers to see different content on a projection screen simultaneously. The various viewers can watch different movies or play different games at the same time without interference. The technology is called ‘DirectedPhoton’ and seems to be more of a projection screen technology than a projector technology.

mirraviz

According to the website and several YouTube Videos (here is a link to one), it seems that they are setting up specific seats, each of which comes with its own projector mounted just above the head of the viewer. The image is clearly visible by just the intended user, while the user alongside only seeing the images from their projector. While the likelihood of a home installation seems a little far fetched, there are other applications like arcade gaming and store advertising where this technology could be quite eye catching.

Neither the website nor the various videos go into detail how the technology works. The only clear statement is that it is not based on a lenticular technology and has full frame rate and resolution for each viewer. Another interesting observation is that the viewers are watching these projections in a rather bright room and even outdoors as shown below with a rather small projection system. This shows that the light efficiency of the system is actually quite high (over 50% as claimed by MirraViz).

MirraViz set upThis MirraViz set up shows four distinct viewing cones

One may wonder what the advantage of such a set-up is. Based on the size of the projection screen, it would be difficult to have more than one set-up of a conventional projection system in one room. As conventional projection systems use little gain in their screens, they would also influence each other via the ambient light they create. The MirraViz system allows the usage of very small projectors as most of the light is directed back to the respective user.

One could imagine the system working as an extreme gain screen where the viewing angle is just big enough to allow the viewer to move a little bit to each side without losing the image. In between the two viewing cones the images overlap very little as can be seen in the image below. The viewing cone to the right is showing a video, while the left portion is from a game another viewer is playing.

Mirraviz screenshotMirraviz screenshot in between two viewing cones.

From the videos it is very difficult to judge the image quality, but we also have to admit that conventional projection systems would look worse in this high ambient conditions with such small projectors. To make this even clearer, please take a look at the following image showing a 2,000 lumens projector creating a good sized image outdoors.

MirraViz outdoorsMirraViz projection system in an outdoors application.

The screen itself is semi-transparent for everyone outside of the viewing cone. It is not clear form the published information how many viewing cones this system can support. In addition it would be interesting to see if the viewing cones are predefined or one could place a projector anywhere in front. While the system seems to work quite well in the horizontal direction it is not clear how it works in the vertical.

The system is available from MirraViz right now and a two projector system with a 88″ screen (rigid or rollable) sets you back $3,700. The projectors come with a HDMI input and seem to be FHD resolution as it was mentioned in one video. Later this year a tabletop version will be available aiming at gaming.

The system is definitely interesting for display enthusiasts as it demonstrates a system that was thought not to be possible via projection. The technology may allow such system to penetrates markets that are typically out of reach for projection in general. The important part is, of course, the image quality especially with the increasing availability of 4K UHD displays. (NH)