3DTVs 3 different images at the same time
Sony: 3 different images on a TV at the same time

09 Aug 2010 | Rasmus Larsen |

Sony have a few aces up their sleeve, and the 3D technology could open up new and very cool possibilities. Sony has applied for a patent which allows you to display two or three different images on a 3DTV - simultaneously. This means that you can watch a completely different image than the person sitting next to you.

3DTVs have many uses

Because 3D glasses alternately open and close shutters, the 3D glasses can also decide what content you see on the TV. This means that if two people are wearing 3D glasses while looking at the same 3DTV, these two viewers don’t necessarily have to see the same image.

Sony HX900
Sony HX900 3DTV

Sony has applied for a patent that allows 3DTVs to show different image content to different people simultaneously.

There’s a lot of uses for this but imagine the following scenarios:
1) Multi-player game where each player has different images in full screen.
2) The wife in the house has one show running, the man another and the child is playing PlayStation 3.
3) Different groups of viewers see different football matches on a sports cafe.

Sony 3D patent

How it works

The method is really quite simple. Because the 3D glasses alternately block left and right eye the glasses can also decide what the users see on the screen – what images to show and what images to block.

Sony 3D patent
Sony 3D patent

So if a football match and a PlayStation 3 game is running at the same time the 3D glasses can open only on all of the frames from the football match and close the PlayStation 3 frames allowing user 1 to see the match. Vice versa with the PlayStation 3 image.

Multiple 3D images also possible

The patent has many illustration and Sony also mentions two simultaneous 3D images. This allows the users to playback 3D games from PlayStation 3 and 3D movies from a 3D Blu-ray at the same time.

Sony 3D patent
Sony 3D patent

At the moment the system has some limitations but theoretically as we move towards even faster flat panel displays more users (more different pictures) can be added.

Sony has not mentioned an actual use for the patent. The patent application was filled about a year ago which also means Sony has had some time to think about the possibilities.

But now that the PlayStation 3 support 3D the multi-player option sounds very appealing. This could give players different multi-player images in full screen eliminating those frustrating split-screen scenarios.

The full patent application illustrations is found here.

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