Remember 3D-TV in the 1980s? Red-and-green glasses on the back of Shredded Wheat packets and experimental films like 'Jaws 3D' where the shark jumped out at you? Well, 3D could soon be back - only this time you won't need the specs.
Technicians at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab are fine-tuning state-of-the-art spatial imaging projectors, capable of producing almost feature-film quality 3D holographic images. Its showcase Mark I Holovideo machine renders full-colour 25x25x25mm images with a 15-degree viewing zone at 20 frames/sec, just four short of the magic 24 frames/sec of regular movie projectors.
It may be a while before Philips or Samsung produce commercial 3D-TVs, but 3D is likely to appear more quickly in microscopes, telescopes and spectroscopes. It will also appear wherever there is a need for highly complex pictures - inside nuclear reactors, on battlefields or even on the plains of Mars.