Philips brings “no-glasses, 3D TV” to your homes

21st May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Philips gave a peek into its research pipeline Tuesday as it featured products such as 3D TV, space-age lighting for shop windows to energy efficient water purifiers.

21 May 2008

EINDHOVEN - Even before we get used to high-definition TV, researchers are planning to place "3D" TV in our homes - but without the funny glasses.

Philips Electronics NV gave a peek into its research pipeline Tuesday, demonstrating a prototype that was still fuzzy around the edges. Operating like a holographic greeting card, it combines slightly different angles of the same image to create video that appears to have different depths as your eyes scan it.

The result is uneven, at some moments blurry, and at others merely two dimensional. But sometimes the apparent depth or protrusion can be startling.

"We say the market progression is black and white, to colour, to high definition, to 3D," said Bjorn Teuwsen, demonstrating the product. "We estimate in a few years these will be in homes."

Specialised models have been sold to corporations - mostly movie theatres and casinos - where they are usually used for advertising signs, since 2006. But Philips said the product is not yet ready for consumer rollout.

Samsung is demonstrating its own no-glasses 3D television concept model this week in Las Vegas.

Philips' 3D television is one of several products shown to reporters Tuesday, ranging from space-age lighting for shop windows to energy efficient water purifiers intended for the developing world.

The company has sold more than 2 million televisions with "ambient" backlighting to heighten mood effects. The company's vice president for research, Fred Boekhorst, said Tuesday that Philips plans similar features that would involve "other senses".

Such as smell-o-vision? A TV that reaches out and punches you in the nose? Boekhorst wouldn't say, other than that it would "involve emotions".

"What next step could you take in the area of relaxation and emotion?" he said, in answer to questions.

Philips showed off lighting products in early stages of development on Tuesday, including one using light-emitting diodes that is transparent like ordinary glass until it is turned on - and then its entire surface turns into a light.

"You can imagine a lot of uses for this, for instance being used in an office wall to create an instant private space," said researcher Coen Verscheuren.

For emerging markets, Philips has developed a water purification system based on ultraviolet light, which fries away organic material such as bacteria. It is quicker and uses less energy than boiling water, said researcher Georg Greuel.

Other companies also are using ultraviolet light for water purification. Philips claims its next generation will be capable of cleaning 6 litres of water per minute, using 30 watts of electricity.

Philips already has introduced a household model in India, but the technology could also be used for bottle-sized versions for individuals, and in larger installations for cities.

[AP / Expatica]

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