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Fraunhofer's STAN: four cameras, three dimensions, no glasses

Fraunhofer's STAN: four cameras, three dimensions, no glasses
Daniel Cooper
Daniel Cooper|@danielwcooper|September 15, 2011 3:46 PM
There are some glasses-free 3D TVs around, but their limited viewing angles and poor picture quality aren't very inspiring -- so Fraunhofer's latest project is a welcome endeavor. It's developed STAN (STereoscopic ANalyzer), a system that lets broadcasters easily use four cameras instead of the usual two, for 3D recording. 3D needs a minimum of two lenses to register depth and keeping multiple shooters in sync is tough and expensive. That's led to the industry relying on two, which is why glasses-free (autostereoscopic) 3D TVs get such a poor picture; more cameras means more viewing angles. STAN co-ordinates the setup of the four cameras and then uses a feature detector to identify common elements in the pictures and merges them into a 3D image. Four cameras provide much more depth, which means more viewing angles, which means that if STAN gets picked up, these guys can throw away the sunglasses, even for live broadcasts.
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