A new prototype display created by MIT could be the key to watching multi-dimensional movies from any seat in a theater without special eyewear

We all go to a 3D movie looking to immerse ourselves in the experience, but having to wear glasses sometimes gets in the way. That could be changing soon thanks to a team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, which have created the first technical approach that lets audiences watch 3D films in a movie theater without using additional eyewear.

Called Cinema 3D, the prototype uses a special set of mirrors and lenses that enable viewers to experience the movie from any seat in a theater. While glasses-free 3D already exists, there is no way to scale it to movie theaters. Traditional methods for TV sets use what's known as a parallax barrier, a series of slits in front of the screen that allow each eye to see a different set of pixels, which simulates a sense of depth. This approach isn't practical for large spaces because parallax barriers have to be at a consistent distance from the viewer.

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