A parallel Worlds

Sunday July 11 2010 / Science & Technology

When we nomally watch something in 3D, we are generally viewing a flat 2D display like a screen or TV and seeing the image in 3D.

Engineers at the Human Communications Technology Lab at the University of British Columbia have developed pCubee, a three dimensional cube  -  from two dimensional flat LCD screens - that  adjusts the 3D images based on your position. And motion sensors allow you to interact with the subject.

“Most people think 3-D is all about stereo and having alternating frames to help the brain perceive depth,” says Sidney Fels, who leads the Human Communication Technologies Lab at the University of British Columbia, where the project was designed. “What we wanted to offer is a fish-tank-like experience in a handheld device.”

“Our brains are wired to perceive motion parallax and interpret it as 3-D. “It’s one of the reasons why even if you have just one eye, you can do reasonably well with depth in the real world.”

pCubee is only a research project at the moment, so you can't buy one just yet, but looking at the demonstration it appears to work well. The box has five flat display panels, each of which shows a different perspective of a 3D image. By rotating the box, you can see above, behind, or to the side of whatever's being shown, and even interact with the image using a stylus. The effect is achieved through a combination of motion detection and perspective-corrected images.

The pCubee has three graphics feeds that drive the screens on the sides of the box. A motion tracker monitors both the pCubee and the user’s head. The software that powers the device ensures that the user’s view of the box and the rendered perspective on each screen are in sync.

Cutting edge 3D technology and somebody thought that shaking cows around was the best way to demonstate it?

For more information, please visit http://www.cubee.ca/

Suggested by
Maximilian Büsser