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LED Inverse Shutter Glasses

On New Years Eve, I saw the awesome movie Avatar in IMAX 3D. I noticed how there were 2 projectors (which I knew before, but seeing it is different). I started thinking about how to make 3D work better, and one of the first ideas I had was to use a polarized wheel, sort of like the fast-moving color wheels that are used in single-DMD DLP technology, but with only two states of two different polarizations. Put that over a single projector, and use the normal relatively cheap polarized glasses! After looking into it, I learned that RealD uses basically the same technology (except they have a solid state switcher thingy rather than a color wheel, which I would assume is some superior technology). So I started thinking again, and came up with “LED Inverse Shutter Glasses”, which I’m nowhere near as certain about working.

LCD Shutter Glasses work by “blindfolding” one eye at a time, allowing a frame from the monitor/tv to be visible by that one eye, and alternating. This allows a different image to be sent to each eye, which our brains can assemble into a 3d image.

The shutter glasses are pretty expensive though (well, in *my* eyes (pun not intended) its insanely expensive), ranging from $100 to $200 or more.

How about inverse shutter glasses (which is a term I made up)? What if instead of darkening one eye, you add light through a side-mounted white LED? Radioshack sells White LEDs for $3 each (and probably you can get it cheaper elsewhere). OLEDs are apparently awesome because of their insanely low response times which are as low as 0.01ms compared to the 2ms LCDs (according to Wikipedia), and I would assume that LEDs are similar (Anything under 8ms, or 120fps should work).

I have no idea if it would work, and obviously it won’t work nearly as well as the LCD ones. Surely it would probably be pretty annoying to have light shine in your eyes, though I would hope its not that annoying. I’m not sure how it would work either, would it make your pupils shrink, and would your eye detect the un-brightened frame as dark? Or would the LED make everything white and everything hard to see, and be the equivalent of darkening everything away? Would this vary from person to person and setup-to-setup?

Posted in 3D, Additive 3D Glasses.

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10 Responses

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  1. thefluffball says

    I have a headache even thinking about it. Firstly, the glasses would have to be flickering in exact synchronisation at the exact same fps in order to work, and secondly, having fast strobing lights in your eyes is gonna hurt like hell!

  2. admin says

    It would be faster than POV, so the strobing speed would be faster than how fast your monitor blinks. Synchronization isn’t that hard, all the current shutter glasses work fine.

  3. night7day says

    Don’t forget eye burnout. If you stare at the sun for a few seconds or even a 90W+ light bulb, you’ll see what i mean.

    Thing is, it takes a lot longer for the eyes to recover than the duration of the flash. So the eyes will either get used to the flash brightness level, or accumulate burnout, time after time…or most likely both. I’ll have to check that. But what the burnout does, is it’ll “stain” the projected image with a different shape+color. What you are better off doing is passing an upsidedown projection image thru a tiny lens that’ll invert it for the eye…then you can save money on the LCD film material, heh he… or better yet a solenoid type shutter with magnetized film circle (BMW logo shape) and a tiny electromagnet…. but the lens thing, that’s like victorian era technology… like opera binoculars if you know what i mean….

    Well, magnets are slow, and induction loops take time to discharge, so nevermind…maybe better luck with motor and gears that are at a much higher speed than the motor’s base RPM…and then use voltage to tune motor speed.


  4. nomel says

    I think that this would, technically, work. Is this a better system is a different question :) The dark scenes would be somewhat drowned out by the bright lights. And, no matter how bright the light (well, non damaging at least), you would still be able to see some of the image on the screen, causing a blurry image (since the left and right image would appear to overlap). Our eyes focus points of light to points on our retina. So, the bright led’s would appear to be bright points (or huge blobs if they were close) of light, but still only covering the area that they occluded. An example being holding your hand up next to the sun. You see a bright spot that is the sun, and your hand…the light from the sun doesn’t drown out your hand. For an example a little closer to an image, if you look towards at the sun, you can usually see bugs and dust floating around at close angles.

    night7day was somewhat incoherent…not sure any of his points were right. The bright light will stain, but that doesn’t mean that the recovery times are different. Being finite is enough (and we know they are since flashing images over 60 hz or so start to become “smooth”).

  5. nomel says

    This is VERY cool. Great idea making it savable.

  6. Mario says

    Hello, my name is Mario and I tested the led glasses before you wrote this comments, they work, but you have to plug the leds on a little more time than the duration of a frame. In dark scenes the 3d effect are more powerful because the images that changes in the 3d movies is the bottom of the scene, and usually the actors are in the top, then a bright led makes more difficult to see the bottom in the dark scenes, what we want in the 3d fims. I used led flashes 20 times/sg because with more frequency the flash is not very powerful. I would like to find a 3d film to test my glasses because what I found on the net is a video whith two pictures one next to the other. I tested my glasses with a video of 2 still pictures changing one to the other 20 times/second and I am thinking about a new kind of glasses that can change 30 fps.
    Please send a email if you know where to find a video to check the glasses. (I am not still blind)

  7. admin says

    That’s really interesting! Do you have more information on how to build the glasses? I would love to attempt such a project.

    You probably need to make a special system for creating the videos as they need to be made for each specific framerate configuration.

  8. Mario says

    Yes admin, the way I do it is adding a sound track to the video to synchonize both.

  9. admin says

    Do you have any more detailed instructions?

  10. Mario says

    Please admin send me a email and I will tell you more details, I am thinking on a patent.
    Mario Padilla.ç

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