A glasses-free 3D display technology will be installed on planes by several major airlines by the end of the year, according to its European distributor, Frontniche.
The company claims to have signed five non-disclosure agreements with suppliers of inflight entertainment products, with two of them proceeding to install on planes this year.
“Two suppliers with whom we have NDAs are definitely installing the technology on the planes of major worldwide airlines,” said Stephen Bone, Frontniche's owner. “Inflight suppliers are working to evolve seatback technology and moving away from fixed monitors on seat backs toward detachable units to avoid having to wire the plane and to enable more efficient upgrades.”
The autostereoscopic technology, devised by Korean manufacturer 3D Nuri and unveiled earlier this year, is currently available on a £250 5-inch Android tablet. The patented technology uses a parallax barrier technique placed in front of the LCD allowing each eye to see a different set of pixels. It also includes a 2D video to 3D convertor.
3D Nuri was spun out of Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in 2008. A 7-inch version featuring a SIM card and 3D camera is due for release later this year.
Bone says that he has demonstrated the 3D tablet to Sky, Virgin Media and YouView. “We believe that they will adopt this technology in support of streaming their programming to portable devices. Virgin has bought units and is playing with them but so far only the airline industry is committed to taking the development further.”
By Adrian Pennington