How 3D Monitors Work

There’s a new breed of LCD display available that can turn your computer games into 3d virtual reality type experiences. These monitors work with polarized glasses and allow 3d images to take on depth or even appear to pop out of the monitor. They create depth in images by simulating the way in which your brain perceives depth, by showing different images to each eye.

When a person looks at a 3-dimensional object, he sees the object from two different angles. Although the eyes are set fairly close together, if you close one eye, then the other, you will see two slightly different images. The brain instantly analyzes the differences in the two images and is able to detect the approximate distance each object is from the viewer, this creates our depth perception. So, the key to 3d monitors is to display separate images to each eye, taken simultaneously from cameras set a few inches apart.

Creating the images to display to each eye is the simple part. The 3d display drivers can quickly create an image from two different angles inside a game. The tricky part is displaying the correct image to each eye. The newest breed of 3d gaming monitors does this using light polarization.

Polarization has to do with directing light waves at a certain angle. Light travels in waves, and when light waves emitting from a monitor are rolling in one direction they are polarized. Polarized lenses are filters that can allow or block light waves depending on their orientation.

For 3d displays, the light from the image that it to be displayed to the left eye is polarized at a 135 degree angle. The light for the right eye is polarized at a 45 degree angle. The lenses are configured to allow light in from the correct angle and completely block light coming in at a 90 degree angle. Using this method the 3d monitor could display an image that looks grey to the naked eye, but when viewed through polarized lenses would be completely black to the left eye, and completely white to the right.

Although the final result is that the monitor simply shows separate flat images to each eye, the effect can be amazing. Depending on the options you choose, the games will either appear to be popping out of the monitor at you or receding into the monitor. This second option is much more popular, and on many games it looks just as though you are looking through a window to another world.

This new breed of 3d computer display is available now from several manufacturers. As more manufacturers enter the arena and game developers begin to tweak their games for 3d monitors, this new technology may become the standard in electronic gaming.


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