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Special Report: 3D in the Real World

Equally hyped and scrutinized, the latest 3D technology shows off its potential best when used in non-entertainment situations. The second in a two-part series.


Students studying virtual reality at Sweden's Lund University have an immersive environment in which to conduct their research. Projector manu­facturer Projectiondesign supplied eight of its F3 sx+ (1400x1050) DLP projectors to provide the visuals for the school's Icubea PC-based, multisided space developed by EON Reality that completely surrounds students with virtual imagery and 3D sound.

Joakim Eriksson, research engineer at Lund University, says the facility's Icube comprises "three rear-projection screens arranged in a U-shape, together with one floor-projection screen. Each screen is driven by two Projectiondesign F3 sx+ projectors, using circular polarization for passive stereoscopic vision, making eight projectors in all."

With each vertical screen segment measuring 13 feet wide by 9 feet high, Lund University's Icube can comfortably accommodate groups of up to 10 people, all of whom can walk around the space and experience the immersive environment simultaneously. Eriksson says that the Icube's usefulness extends well beyond academic research. "So far, our activities have centered around architectural and design visualization, historical reconstructions, and simulation and in learning and training," he says. "We also want to make the Icube available to external clients to rent, for example, for a walk-through of a planned building."


TrueVision 3D Surgical, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., is using JVC's GD-463D10U 46-inch 3D LCD HD monitor as part of its real-time 3D visualization platform. The system allows surgeons to view a surgical procedure on a high-resolution monitor instead of looking through a microscope.

"In surgery, visualization is everything," says Rob Reali, vice president of operations and marketing. "The better the surgeon can see, the better the surgery is probably going to go. TrueVision frees the surgeon from being stuck on the eyepiece."

Designed to record, edit, and playback 3D 1080p content, the TrueVision system seamlessly brings patient data and images from the exam room to the operating room. It also provides better ergonomics for the surgeon and improved operating room team synergy, because the whole team can see and follow the procedure. The company is also working on a guidance platform for microsurgery, which is currently in clinical study.

TrueVision began offering its 3D visualization systems equipped with JVC GD-463D10U monitors about a year ago and has already sold dozens of systems to doctors, hospitals, and medical 3D theaters. Before integrating the JVC 3D monitor, TrueVision systems included a dual-projector system, complete with a large, folding screen.

Reali says a passive 3D system is mandatory for TrueVision because active-shutter glasses have too many potential problems. With its integrated Xpol (circular) polarizing filter, the JVC GD-463D10U monitor uses inexpensive polarized (passive) glasses to produce 3D HD images. The processing speed of the GD-463D10U is also important. "Surgeons are operating in real time," Reali explained. "Their hand movements have to match exactly. The JVC monitor has no noticeable delay [latency] from the real-time action at the surgical target to what you see on the screen."

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