Smartphone case delivers 3D content

Smartphone case delivers 3D content

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

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.

Catering for various sizes and applications.

The startup offers case-type devices for smartphone with screen sizes ranging from 4 to 6” and for tablets with screen sizes ranging from 6 to 18”, but it will also deliver attachable lenses for laptops and monitors from 18 to 23”.

On its product brochure, MOPIC claims that contrarily to 3D displays relying on a parallax barrier which blocks more than half of the incoming light, its transparent lenticular arrays barely block 1% of the incoming light, enabling 3D viewing even in brightly lit outdoors. Another interesting aspect of this 3D rendering solution is that consumers can keep their current smartphone, all they need to do is get themselves the MOPIC case and download the associated application. The application supports various OSes such as IOS and Windows as well as Android.

How important is cover placement to ensure a consistent alignment of the lens array with the underlying display, and to prevent discrepancies in 3D rendering? We asked.

“Cover placement precision is very important. We’ve made it easy for users to calibrate the screen through the provided app. But calibration range is very small. So when we make the covers, we check for alignment very carefully, we have proprietary methods”, concluded the CEO.

Although the company is planning the commercialization of standalone 3D rendering smartphone and tablet protective cases, it may consider partnerships with OEMs willing to directly integrate lenticular arrays into their displays.

Visit MOPIC at

Related articles:
Glass-free 3D display relies on eye-tracking to orient pixels
32K OLED resolution in demand for holographic smartphones
IEE Expands 3D display technologies to retail applications with autostereoscopic film
2D to 3D conversion adds texture on top
MIT prep high-def, glasses-free 3-D

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