Sunday, September 24, 2006
3D television could be in homes within three years, according to a European research consortium.
Levent Onural, co-ordinator of the multinational 3DTV network, said the technology was already in place for 3D TV and cinema to become commonplace.
The consortium, funded by the European Commission, consists of about 200 researchers in seven countries, and is halfway through its four-year duration.
However, Prof Onural said holographic television was at least 10 years away.
He said: "We do think holographic 3D TV is feasible, but the technology is not in place yet.
"If you ask my opinion, it will take another 10 years to get there, but some say it will take 14 to 20 years."
However, he said that it would offer the "ultimate viewing experience".
"For example, take a football game. Viewers would be able to look at a TV that will be like a coffee table and see small-scale real football players made up from light running around on that table."
The research consortium is looking into all aspects of 3D technology, such as capturing 3D motion scenes, computerised representation, transmission and display.
Professor Onural, who is based at Bilkent University, Turkey, said: "Lower-end technologies, such as stereoscopic 3D (a method of displaying an image that gives the impression of depth) will be commonplace in homes and cinemas in about three years."
He said the technology had been present for many years, but recent advances would mean the motion sickness that has made 3D films an unpleasant viewing experience in the past could be reduced.
The research consortium has also developed and tested 3D stereoscopic displays where the viewer can look at 3D images without special glasses.
Professor Onural said: "With stereoscopic cinema, we think that there will be huge interest from the movie-goers, and we think it will be available in regular movie houses in three years.
"We think that some people might want to purchase 3D television sets for home viewing. "
However, he admitted that he did not "yet know how the consumers will behave and what the commercial success of that project will be".