At the 22nd annual Flat Information Displays conference in San Francisco, IBM's display laboratories demonstrated a low-cost way to get high-resolution 3D images from a large-screen television or home-cinema projector that's already on the market.
The company showed a 50-inch, flat-screen Texas Instruments rear-projection digital television with Digital Light Processing, or DLP, technology. IBM configured the set with its own hardware and software, which takes 3D content and splits it into two images that are later translated as a stereophonic image with the help of "passive" glasses like those one would find in an IMAX theater.
According to IBM spokesmen, the technology is at the proof-of-concept stage, and the company is seeking for a manufacturing partner to bring it to market.
Although the specifics of the IBM technology were not given to public, the software is compatible with all OpenGL and Direct3D applications, which are widely used in PC video games.
The converter box can be retrofitted onto existing projectors for a little more than $1,000. IBM's hardware is compatible with current VESA three-pin stereo interfaces.
Viewing traditional 3D content in the theater or on a television screen required two projectors. The new generation of digital projectors, such as the one IBM demonstrated, translates 3D content with just one machine, alternating rapidly between images meant to be seen by the right and left eyes.