Smartphone protective case delivers 3D content

September 19, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Spun off Samsung’s C-Lab internal program, South Korean startup MOPIC has devised a special lenticular array together with proprietary eye-tracking and pixel-mapping algorithms to deliver autostereoscopic 3D content on any smartphone or tablet.

Designed as what look like simple protective cases (only 1mm thick), the lenticular arrays snap onto smartphones or tablets to enable goggle-free 3D viewing seamlessly across a wide range of viewing distances and angles.

MOPIC's smartphone-compatible lenticular arrays.

So far, most autostereoscopic lenticular array demoes I came across were flawed with severe viewing distance and angle limitations, requiring users to keep their head in a steady position relative to the screen to avoid "jumping" across different autostereoscopic views.

Reached by eeNews Europe, MOPIC's CEO Changbong Shin explained that key to avoiding the "jump artifact" that plagues most autostereoscopic displays is the real time eye-tracking and pixel-mapping algorithms implemented by the company.

"We use the smartphone's front camera to figure out both the viewer's position and distance relative to the screen. Our eye-tracking algorithm calculates the viewer's x,y,z position and viewing angle 30 times per second, and pixels are re-mapped instantly underneath the fixed lenticular array to deliver the proper autostereoscopic effect for that position", Shin explained.

"Without eye-tracking, a viewer has to watch the screen at a fixed position, which is very uncomfortable. We want users to be able to enjoy 3D content freely without having to find a correct position", the CEO continued.

The pixel mapping is refreshed too fast for users to even notice any change in the 3D rendering as they move in front of the screen, claims the startup. MOPIC's algorithms automatically accommodate the 3D effect for a viewing distance ranging from 25 to 65cm for smartphones and from 35 to 75cm or more for tablets, with a flexible viewing angle of 60 degrees.

"Our 3D resolution is more than full HD", commented the CEO and inventor of the MOPIC line, confident that with his solution, users never find themselves 'jumping across frames' and get the exact same rendering as watching 3D TV with dedicated glasses.