Geo Week News

December 22, 2010

New patent granted for 3D display (stop measuring pixels - start measuring voxels)

C-SPACE schematic

I’m sure I should have known the word by now, but I’ve just been introduced to the term “voxel.” Analogous to a pixel, it’s a point in a 3D volumetric display, as used in this release by 3DIcon, a company that has the exclusive right to market technology developed by the University of Oklahoma that’s just been granted a patent.

And this new technology can produce resolution of up to 800 million voxels. That seems kind of cool. 

Here’s the run-down:

CSpace is a unique 3D display that is being designed to produce high-resolution full-color, true 3D images. The display does not require special viewing aids or glasses, does not cause viewer fatigue during prolonged use, and is capable of producing translucent images for viewing the inside of images, such as a human organ, cargo containers, baggage, ocean or terrain features, or troop carriers, all of which are beyond the capabilities of other current display methodologies.

Here’s a rough sketch of what we’re talking about here:

See the whole presentation video here. Apparently, they can’t decide if it’s “CSpace” or “C-Space,” but I don’t think that matters too much. Since the potential buyers aren’t exactly the consumer, but rather hospitals and the government, branding isn’t too important. 

But, for commercial applications of 3D to take off, you can bet that it matters quite a bit whether a great viewing solution is developed or not. Capturing the data in 3D is great, but if the people who need to use and interpret that data are frustrated by the experience of viewing that data and extracting information from it, no one’s going to champion it within their organizations. 

It will be interesting to watch how this volumetric technology develops. If nothing else, I’d like to check it out.


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