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Start-up pitches low-cost no-glasses 3D for iPad

Stereoscopy on the cheap

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Want to view 3D content on your iDevice without having to wear specs? US-based GRilli3D claims it has the technology to make it so.

The secret is a "simple and inexpensive plastic film" which sticks to the front of your iPad or iPhone - and presumably other devices too - and, according to GRilli3D, "interpose a series of 'barrier lines' between the eyes and the projected image".

This blocks the right-eye part of the image from the left eye's view, and vice versa. The brain combines the two images and you see a stereoscopic 3D image.

If that sounds like the use of a lenticular screen - the kind use on those pictures that morph from one image to another - that it's not so very dissimilar. However, GRilli3D claims its screens is superior to lenticular because it works well with a backlit LCD screen and it won't make your screen look odd when you're not viewing 3D content.

GRilli3D sample

You'll need the right screen cover to view it properaly, of course
Click for full-size image
Source: GRilli3D

GRilli3D also said its film also provides a good space around the mobile device in which the stereo 3D image can be viewed at any angle. Go too far and, like other specs-less 3D systems, you get angles at which there is no stereo image separation, but on a mobile screen this isn't the problem it is with, say, a TV.

There are catches, of course. While GRilli3D claims its films make for a "no hassle" 3D display, the company's website indicates that the film has to be applied very precisely.

And there's not a great deal of readily available content beyond a handful of sample pictures and videos on the GRilli3D website - along with the images you'll need to display on your device to ensure the film is accurately aligned with the pixel columns.

GRilli3D sample

Tricky: you must align the film correctly
Source: GRilli3D

GRilli3D has a brief write-up, but you're looking at a fair bit of jiggery pokery in the likes of Photoshop and Final Cut Pro to convert snaps and videos into separate left- and right-eye shots which can then vertically interlaced into a single movie for playback.

Seems like a lot of faff to us, just to be able to see something in stereo 3D.

But at least the Grilli3D films are cheap: $30 (£19) for an iPad-sized sheet, and $15 (£10) for the iPhone and iPod Touch version. They will be available to order shortly. ®

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