3-D Without Four Eyes

Nintendo and Toshiba will bring glasses-free 3-D to portable devices

10 min read
Opening photo for this feature article.
Photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Styling: Laurie Raab/Halley Resources

Beautifully animated figures seem to be leaping out of the game player I’m holding. Planes and cars are swooping toward me so convincingly that I’m actually flinching. The graphics are detailed; the colors are natural. I’ve never had a better 3-D experience, and here’s the best part: This handheld, multidimensional marvel, a prototype from 3M, doesn’t require me to wear those clunky, chunky 3-D eyeglasses.

New glasses-free 3-D devices are about to hit the market, and their backers are hoping they’ll make 3-D spectacles as obsolete as Smell-O-Vision. These gadgets, described as “autostereo” to distinguish them from the kind requiring eyewear, will include not only game consoles like the one I’ve been playing with but also cameras, cellphones, and tablet computers. Among the first will be autostereo 3-D TVs, just now hitting stores in Japan, and Nintendo’s 3DS handheld games console, due for release worldwide early next year.

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Inventor of the First AI System That Could Read Handwriting Dies at 72

IEEE also mourns the loss of other members

3 min read

A photo of a man in a dark jacket in glasses.  University at Buffalo

Sargur “Hari” Srihari

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Fundamental Energy Transitions Can Take a Century

Electricity’s benefits were obvious, but it still took a lifetime to dominate

3 min read
A photo of Thomas Alva Edison standing in front of a dynamo.
Thomas Alva Edison poses with his dynamo, which he used to generate electricity for lighting.
Oxford Science Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images

One hundred and forty years ago, Thomas Edison began generating electricity at two small coal-fired stations, one in London (Holborn Viaduct), the other in New York City (Pearl Street Station). Yet although electricity was clearly the next big thing, it took more than a lifetime to reach most people. Even now, not all parts of the world have easy access to it. Count this slow rollout as one more reminder that fundamental systemic transitions are protracted affairs.

Such transitions tend to follow an S-shaped curve: Growth rates shift from slow to fast, then back to slow again. I will demonstrate this by looking at a few key developments in electricity generation and residential consumption in the United States, which has reliable statistics for all but the earliest two decades of the electric period.

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Reduce EMI and EMC Issues with Engineering Simulation Software

Save time and money all while delivering accurate and reliable results

1 min read
Reduce EMI and EMC Issues with Engineering Simulation Software

Electronic components and systems exist today in nearly all consumer and industrial products. A major design consideration in all electronics is electromagnetic interference (EMI) and compatibility (EMC). EMI and EMC issues are complex. They can be hard to detect and can be taxing to a design. With the use of engineering simulation software, design engineers can mitigate issues before entering the prototype testing phase. Avoiding the test-retest cycle with simulation can help save time and money all while delivering robust and reliable products.