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MIT invents glasses-free 3D movie theater technology

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The worst part of watching a 3D movie in the theaters could be going away soon. No, not the nausea; the tacky 3D glasses.

Scientists at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, recently prototyped a technology called Cinema 3D, which could allow for your naked eyes to take in future Michael Bay 3D movie explosions from your theater seat all by themselves.

Cinema 3D: A movie screen for glasses-free 3D

The new tech works, in short, by scaling up the small-screen, single-perspective "parallax barrier" technique used in devices like the Nintendo 3DS.

This is the first technical approach that allows for glasses-free 3D on a large scale.
MIT professor Wojciech Matusik

Cinema 3D employs a series of special mirrors and lenses that could project a different depth-simulating sets of pixels to each set of eyes in every seat in a theater.

Though MIT is saying that the initial Cinema 3D prototype screen is "only barely larger than a pad of paper" and that scaling it to full theater size may not be "financially feasible" right now, the founders of the technology say it's also capable of being used in smaller applications like storefront advertisements.

Would glasses-free 3D get you to watch more 3D movies in theaters?

So while 3D movie-goers today will have to, for the foreseeable future, continue throwing on specs to take in a flick at their local Octaplex, we have to wonder: Would taking the glasses out of the equation bring you classic cinefiles over to the three-dimensional side?

For more news of the day, check out our 60 Second Circa for Monday AM, July 25, 2016.


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