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Sony And Apple Announce New 3D Technology

David Gilbert


Sony And Apple Announce New 3D Technology

It seems as if everyone is looking to get any advantage they can in the world of 3D technology and so we have news today that two of the big hitters have taken steps to improve our experience of 3D viewing.

First off Sony announced a new type of LCD technology, which will enhance our viewing pleasure and improve high frame rate video. Called Hybrid FPA (field-induced photo-reactive alignment), the technology means there will be a response time of less than 3microseconds and it will also have the added advantage of making TV panels more durable and longer lasting.

Sony has said: "One method for improving liquid crystal response time is to generate pre-tilt of the liquid crystal molecules. FPA technique uses the alignment layer developed by Sony and maintains pre-tilt of liquid crystal molecules by irradiating UV while applying voltage in manufacturing process." While this may not be very clear, if it means that our 3D viewing experience will be brighter, sharper or clearer then we’re all for it.

When this new technology will be implemented in consumer devices is unknown but we could be seeing it when we travel to CES in Las Vegas in January, so we’ll report back if FPA does what it claims.


In other 3D related news, it has emerged that Apple has been granted a patent for technology that will allow multiple people view 3D images from one source without the need for glasses.

We’re all for a move away from having to wear stupid looking 3D specs and this patent for an autostereoscopic system of 3D viewing is good news. Apple even mentions the problem in it patent filing saying current systems “have not met with widespread acceptance because observers generally do not like to wear equipment over their eyes.”

The new technology will allow for numerous people to watch one screen and see the 3D images no matter what angle they are looking from. The technology would work by having each pixel projected onto a reflective, textured surface, which is sent into a viewer’s left and right eye separately, producing the 3D illusion. The system will apparently sense the location of every viewer’s eyes, to allow for a viewing audience, not just an individual.

This all sounds very promising for the future of 3D and we will be eagerly watching this space develop in the coming months as these technologies move towards the consumer market place.


December 3, 2010, 9:48 pm

Or in other words Sony introduces a system to improve lcd panel quality and Apple introduces a system to make sure no one can inovate a 3d panel without paying apple.

ok possibly cynical on apple but can you at least post sources if not links to the patent applications so people can easily read more if they want.

David Gilbert

December 3, 2010, 10:06 pm

@CraigD Here's the link: http://patft.uspto.gov/neta...


December 5, 2010, 6:22 pm

I have no problem with Apple doing this - it's not like they patent future potential developments, they are clearly investing in R&D, and so reap the rewards.

Frankly, more companies with seemingly large R&D departments (IBM, HP, Sony i'm looking at you all) should be trying to do more of what Apple does - rather than trying to adapt the human to match the technology (ie wear glasses) which is a very visible sign that a technology is not ready, they should be trying to make the technology work for humans. No glasses, no tricks or gimmicks.

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