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ISee3D Reveals Technology Enhancements

10/03/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Isee3D, the Toronto-based developer of
a single-lens solution for 3D cameras and camcorders,
announced a number of industry specific updates and advances
to its technology.

In town to demonstrate the improved
capabilities, Shawn Veltman,
ISee3D product manager,
pointed out that in addition to offering
a more elegant and potentially
more cost-effective solution to adding
high-quality 3D capture to cameras
and camcorders than two-lens
approaches, the company’s technology
also has applications for the
medical and industrial fields.

For consumer electronics, some
of the chief benefits of the one-lens
approach are easier zooming and
more realistic 3D macro images.

“For macros with two lenses, unless
you have the ability to do toeins
with two lenses, your close-up
range is effectively limited,” Veltman
said. “With a single lens the
toe-in’s not a problem. The 3D is
tied to the focus, which affects different
parts of the image.”

In zooming, two-lens systems run
into a calibration and re-calibration
issue, he said.

“You put the two lenses together, and you have to ensure
that everything is perfectly aligned and level, and
when you get any vertical misalignment, things start to
hurt [the viewer] a lot,” he pointed out.

Manufacturers also have to ensure that both lenses are
the exact same focal length, which upon zooming in and out
can be a problem in consumer-level products, he added.

“None of that’s a problem with a single lens,” Veltman
said.

The ISee3D technology works by occluding a portion of
the lens, pushing the effective center of the lens over. So
if the left half of the lens is occluded, the center if pushed
over to the right, and if the right half is occluded, that center
shifts to the left. The difference between the two viewpoints
is called the inter-axial distance.

Several techniques can be employed
for this, but for the most part,
the ISee3D technology uses liquid
crystal for the occlusion in a framesequential
manner.

Recent advancements in the
technology include dramatically
reducing the thickness of the elements
to fractions of a millimeter,
making it possible to use the technology
with a wider variety of lenses
and reducing the space required.
It is said to be ideal for equipping
3D on webcams, high magnification
microscopes, endoscopes,
4k and 5k cameras and consumer
camcorders, where space is at an
absolute premium.

“We have moved the liquid crystal
occlusion system from the front
of the lens to an area much closer
to the pupil, which allows us to work
in much tighter areas,” Veltman told
TWICE. “We also have a much wider
family of lenses that we can work
with and we’ve made some enhancements in capture in
parallel rather than sequentially, in some applications,
which is great for higher-speed video capture or in slowmotion
where you need the frame rate.”

The company also has patents for technologies that
enable the simultaneous capture of stereoscopic image
pairs from a single lens to a single image sensor. This increases
the range of available capture speeds, enabling
both faster and slower frame rates.

ISee3D said the technology is ideal for devices including
camcorders, webcams and mobile devices.

In other fields it can be used for industry in
automotive driver support systems, including
adaptive cruise control, braking assistance,
blind-spot monitoring and air bag deployments.
It also has applications for robotics, underwater
exploration, and gas and oil exploration.

In broadcasting it enables real-time, natural
3D broadcast and smaller 3D cameras. In
medical applications it enables a wider range
of 3D endoscope sizes and a greater number
of minimally invasive surgeries, including those
performed by surgical robots.

Currently, ISee3D is working with DXG for
forthcoming camcorder products and with
Hamilton Thorne on medical research technologies.
Veltman said ISee3D is in discussions
with a number of other companies he couldn’t
name for contractual reasons, including a large
automobile manufacturer.

ISee3D, which is publicly traded on the Toronto
exchange, licenses its patents to equipment
manufactures and provides access to its
engineers. It also derives a small royalty fee per
unit produced.

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