|The unique curvature of Marchon3D’s patented M3D lenses offers greater image immersion without peripheral distractions.|
As 3D’s popularity continues to grow, here’s what ECPs need to know to help familiarize themselves with this profitable technology.
Whether 3D is active or passive, on curved or flat screens, on movie screens or TV screens, it’s interesting to note that all 3D imaging techniques and 3D eyeglasses are based on basic principles that we learned as opticianry students.
HOW 3D WORKS
Modern passive technology 3D eyeglasses work by polarization. Oddly enough, this occurs by doing what we were taught never to do: placing the polarizing filters in opposition at 90° apart (often 45° and 135°). When paired with special cameras and projectors, this polarization technique delivers a slightly different image or perspective to each eye. Because of this, we perceive the images as being three-dimensional.
All 3D eyeglasses work off the basic principle of image displacement. You probably recall prism uses the image shift created by a lens to alter the brain’s perception of image placement. By blocking the image meant for one eye or the other, 3D simply tricks the brain into perceiving two images as being slightly displaced. We perceive that image shift as added depth, or as a third dimension of an otherwise flat image.
WHY 3D MATTERS NOW
Chances are that in the time it takes you to read this sentence, at least one more manufacturer will have entered the 3D eyewear market.
|The lightweight SSG-3700CR active shutter technology glasses were created by Samsung Electronics and Silhouette.|
Suppliers currently include Marchon Eyewear, Revolution Eyewear, Alain Mikli Ltd., Oakley, Inc., Silhouette Optical Ltd., Polaroid Eyewear, and Live Eyewear.
This market is expanding rapidly because 3D technology and its applications are growing fast. Failing to embrace this hot market may leave you feeling a little…well, one-dimensional.
Today, 3D motion pictures are almost as commonplace as standard release movies, with recognizable titles like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Up, Shrek, Tron, and Avatar.
|Live Eyewear offers its Cocoons fit-over model with OverRx frame design so anyone can enjoy the 3D experience.|
Take a quick look around an electronics store or a Web search and you will see that 3D televisions are becoming mainstream and offered by every big name manufacturer. Computer monitors are also beginning to incorporate 3D imaging functions, both movies and gaming. Handheld and home-based game consoles popular with kids and adult gamers now offer 3D games and displays. Tablets and smartphones are likely to have 3D displays soon, and we may find 3D on some applications that have not even been invented yet. You cannot overlook the potential business generated from the burgeoning 3D market.
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE
As with most developing technology, 3D imaging has two “camps.” The battle is between active shutter technology and passive technology. Active shutter technology employs electronically controlled “active” blocking of images. These glasses require a power source of some kind and an “active” synchronization with the hardware generating the display. The glasses open and close shutters in rhythm with the display, blocking the appropriate image meant for each eye so the brain interprets the image as being 3D. Active shutter eyewear is really part of the electronics marketplace more than the optical one. Familiar names are Samsung, LG, and Sony.
• Matches currently available technology well
• Matches current hardware across a wide range of applications
• Image quality is very good across a wide range of products
• Requires a power source and synchronization with image source
• Higher costs because of construction
• Can cause “shutter” effect if refresh rates are not perfect
For glasses that feature active shutter technology, look at Samsung’s SSG-3700CR, which is touted as the world’s lightest active shutter technology glasses. This collaborative creation with Samsung Electronics and Silhouette has produced 3D eyewear weighing only 27 gms. Add Bluetooth connectivity and you have a pair of glasses that takes “active” and “technology” to another dimension.
|Polaroid’s Perfect 3D Vision collection features passive technology with no flickering.|
The second camp is passive technology. These are the glasses you had on the last time you went to see a 3D movie. They require no power source and they do not involve any sync with the display. The 3D film is shot with two cameras, and then shown using two projectors (or one with a special lens) simultaneously. When the film is projected, the polarization filter blocks distinct and corresponding light waves specific to one camera angle or the other, and the brain fills in the missing pieces as a 3D image. The technology used for these glasses, and one you need to know, is “circular polarization.”
• No power source or synchronization necessary
• Low cost for low-end product
• Works well with hardware built around passive technology
Passive Cons: (all corrected by quality high-end products)
• Can cause color distortion
• Optical clarity can be poor in low-end products
• Fashion backwards versus forwards
• No custom size or fitting capabilities
For passive technology offerings, look to Polaroid’s Perfect 3D Vision collection. These lightweight glasses feature ideal contrast and 3D from any angle. There’s no flickering in as active shutter models. The collection boasts 25 pieces, with three adult covers to fit over optical frames and six of which are for kids/juniors. Two of the kids’/ juniors’ models are cover styles that fit over optical frames.
The unique curvature of Marchon3D’s patented M3D™ lenses offers greater image immersion without peripheral distractions. These lenses also provide HD 3D optics, increased picture clarity, and ultra-high 3D contrast while minimizing light contamination, distortion, and haze. Marchon recently expanded its Marchon3D line to include additional new frames that complement the existing Marchon3D line of fashionable 3D glasses that double as sunglasses. The photochromic lens technology offers 100% UV protection within 30 seconds of being exposed to sunlight.
Oakley, Inc. is following up on the release of its Tron Limited Edition 3D Gascan with the Oakley 3D Gascan® Transformers Limited Edition, specifically designed for the Transformers: Dark of the Moon feature film. In cooperation with Hasbro, Oakley is offering these one-of-a-kind glasses highlighted by the Transformers’ AUTOBOT SHIELD icon on one side and the DECEPTION SHIELD icon on the other.
For a three-dimensional option with personality, look at the LG 3D designed by Alain Mikli. These stylish 3D glasses are ideal for the theater, television, video games, etc. This is the pair of 3D glasses patients will not want to leave behind after the show is over.
Don’t worry about the 3D challenge to the prescription market. Revolution Eyewear has partnered with Marchon to create an ophthalmic line of eyewear that converts to 3D. Revolution’s entire clip-on series, which includes the Revolution, Revolution Kids, Revolution Titanium, and Revolution Memory-Mag, features a 3D clip-on using Marchon’s M3D lens technology. Patients can go from a RealD movie theatre to their passive 3D televisions or laptops without ever having to change glasses.
Live Eyewear offers its Cocoons fit-over model so that anyone can enjoy the 3D experience. Available in six sizes, the 3D model is based on Cocoons’ patented OverRx® frame design. They deliver a vivid 3D experience in theaters, and they also work with passive televisions, laptops, and desktop computers based on circular polarized technology.
3D has arrived and patients will be looking for these glasses. Don’t let them go to some big box retail store to get them; add them to your inventory for a new dimension in sales.
John Seegers is a licensed optician at Ryan Vision Centerin Henrico, VA, and the creator of opticianworks.com.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Alain Mikli Ltd.
800-829-8032 • mikli.com
800-834-2563 • liveeyewear.com
800-645-1300 • marchon.com
800-733-6255 • oakley.com
Silhouette Optical Ltd.
800-223-0180 • silhouette.com