Thursday, March 24, 2005

3 Dimensional Display Devices

One night while I was unable to sleep, possibly after having watched a movie, this idea came to my mind.
How real is the concept of a 3-D display device? We have seen it in comic strips and in movies in some form or the other. I was just wondering as to was it possible at all? And how, if so?
Today I decided to search on the Net to catch up with the developments on this front, if any. One of the pages that came very close was this. It is not quite like what I'd like to see, but the page title touched the subject. Frankly, I didn't dare to read all of it, but after having gone thru it a few sentences, I realized what I was missing.
The concept of 3-D display devices is not much useful without the concept of 3-D input devices. We must be able to tell what we wanna see or what we wanna do. Even if just want to see, we should be able to create the contents. Hmmm... that's my limit. I am no phycist. With my limited knowledge of matters from what I learnt in school days, I thought It was possible to create a cylindrical display device, which if you sit inside it and turn around sitting on a revolving chair, you should be able to see different parts of an object as it would look if you really turned around.
Then came into my mind, the idea of plotting pixels on this device (learnt how they draw on a two dimensional display device in my Computer Graphics classes). Should that be really that difficult? Don't think so. Just that they have to develop a new kind of cartesian system for this. The current cartesian system isn't meant for 3-D devices. Or could be, there something already is there in 3-D geometry I don't know of?
But it is still not that simple. How do you know upto what part of this cylindrical screen at a time a human eye would be able to see. And what happens when the person turns around? For a simple position change, of say .1 radian, in the viewer's position, the co-ordinates of the same physical pixel would have been changed. Now the viewer would expect to see something else on the same pixel where he could see something else a while ago.
Again with my limited knowledge of matters found on earth, I thought it was possible. Afterall, havent we ever seen a Hologram? A hologram does nearly the same, if not exactly. It display different images depending on the angle from which you look at it. Wow! That's the problem solved? Do I have my 3-D display device ready for production? Not really! A hologram typically displays not more than a few images. But, there is the potential. Isn't is all about the evolution? Can't we develop a better matter that can work like a much improved hologram, or a reflector, in this context? And the answer is - It should be possible.
So, the idea of a 3-D display device really seems possible. Of course, initially when these matters are not very fine and can display only upto 10 images from different angles, we can call them low-resolution 3-D display reflector. Say such a reflector can display upto 10 diffrent images and has a display angle of 150 degrees. So that be the factor that will decide the resolution of my dream 3-D display device.
Ah, wish I studied more of Physics, Mathmetics and Chemistry!

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