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IFA 2011 | Sony develops glasses-free 3D add-on for notebooks

The 3mm thick transparent sheet could go on sale as early as next month for 129 Euros ($183 USD)

Wearing those unfashionable glasses for 3D movies could be a thing of the past sooner rather than later if Sony plays its cards right.

At the IFA expo, the Japanese Corporation showed off a promising new accessory, one that allows for glasses-free 3D viewing on a regular notebook. The tech is simply a 3mm wide transparent sheet, which can be placed right on top of the notebook monitor and operates by “arraying lenses that are thin and long and have a semicircular cross section.” Specialized software would then take advantage of the notebook’s webcam to track the distance and position of the user’s eyes in order to adjust the 3D for optimum quality.

The newly-developed sheet will be manufactured along with the newly announced Vaio VPCSE1Z9E notebook, which is expected to offer glasses-free 3D using the same type of technology. According to the source, the user must be between 0.3m to 1m away from the screen and within a 30 degree angle from the normal for the 3D effect to work. This makes for a small viewing window, so we don’t expect this 3D filter to be compatible with more than one viewer.

Still, many questions remain about the accessory. Will the filter work equally well on notebooks of different resolutions? Are there minimum webcam requirements? How does the 3D effect compare to 3D that requires glasses? Fortunately, the 3D panel may be launching across Europe as early as this October for 129 Euros ($183 USD), so expect reviews on its performance and quality to kick in by then.

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Allen Ngo, 2011-09- 7 (Update: 2012-05-26)