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‘Trixels’ set to enable new class of outdoor 3D displays

A new generation of outdoor displays is being developed by Austrian company Trilite Technologies, in conjunction with scientists from the Vienna University of Technology.

The approach uses a sophisticated system to send laser beams in different directions. The angular resolution of the system is said to be so fine that the left eye sees a different picture than the right one, creating a 3D effect.

The system is based on a module called a 'trixel'. This comprises lasers and a moveable mirror. "The mirror directs the laser beams across the field of vision, from left to right. During that movement the laser intensity is modulated so that different laser flashes are sent into different directions," said Professor Ulrich Schmid of Vienna University of Technology.

Together, TriLite and TU Vienna have created the first prototype. Although it only has a resolution of five pixels by three, it shows the system works. A second prototype, which will display colour images at higher resolution, is in development. TriLite says the system will also be tunable to suit the location.

Such electronic billboards might also display different ads, seen from different angles. "Maybe someone wants to appeal specifically to the customers leaving the shop across the street, while a different ad is shown to people waiting at a bus stop," said Ferdinand Saint-Julien, TriLite's CEO. "Technically, this would not be a problem."

Graham Pitcher

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