3D TV without glasses within 5 years, according to MIT
A technology developed at MIT Media Lab was announced at the last SIGGRAPH
The fastest and most economical way of using 3D screens without glasses seems to be MIT Media Lab's "glass-free" 3D technology, as already demonstrated at SIGGRAPH.
It is not holographic technology, which is still the arrival point for 3D vision (holographic images create a three-dimensional image by varying perspective depending on the viewing angle), but the simple overlapping of three images that are specially designed to give the illusion of being three-dimensional.
Obviously, "simple" is not the correct word for describing what has been done at MIT. Unlike such 3D screens as the Nintendo 3DS, where two images are superimposed, the heart of this technology involves overlapping three images that are joined instant by instant by complex algorithms to create images that change with perspective; algorithms that are conceptually similar to those used to generate CAT-scan tomographic images.
The secret of this technology lies in the pattern calculation algorithm and, specifically, in its effectiveness at identifying the parts of a scene that do not change with the viewing angle (a crucial aspect for reducing the amount of superfluous information sent to the display).
Once the correct algorithm has been found, and this has been achieved, only three superimposed LCD displays are required for operation. A technical problem concerning the panel refresh frequency, which should be at least 360 Hz for the trouble-free alternation of 3 images, has still to be resolved but success seems to be close at hand. To the extent that we could see a consumer version of "glass-free" 3D television within 5 years.