Glasses-Free 3D Movies Could Be Coming to a Theater Near You

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The method we use to watch 3D movies today is largely the same one viewers used to see Vincent Price star in House of Wax back in 1953: a pair of tinted glasses handed out with your tickets. But thanks to researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Israel's Weizmann Institute for Science, those cumbersome glasses may soon become a thing of the past. According to engadget, the research team has developed a cinema screen prototype capable of displaying 3D images to every seat in a theater—without the need for special glasses.

Glasses-free 3D screens are already in existence, but so far they’ve only made sense for small-scale applications like home televisions and handheld gaming consoles. The Cinema 3D is different in that the same three-dimensional image is visible no matter what angle it’s viewed from in a theater. As demonstrated in the video below, researchers used a combination of lenses and mirrors to create the multi-angle effect, without compromising image quality.

While the technology looks promising, it’s still a long way off from coming to a theater near you. As of now, the researchers have a prototype that uses over 50 lenses and mirrors to demonstrate their concept on a screen smaller than most TVs. A life-sized version would likely be a hefty investment for theaters, so don’t expect 3D ticket prices to go down if glasses become obsolete.

[h/t engadget]

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