De Montfort University is developing a 3D display which is capable of supplying 3D to several viewers who do not have to wear special glasses, and who are able to move freely over a room-sized area. The device consists of a single liquid crystal display that presents a stereo-pair by employing spatial multiplexing, and has its conventional backlight replaced by novel steering optics controlled by the position of a head position tracker. This is achieved using arrays of novel coaxial optical elements in conjunction with high-density white light emitting diode arrays. The operation of the steering and multiplexing optics will be explained. The prototype display, which uses a four-target electromagnetic head tracker, and incorporates a folded optical system, will be described. © 2005 Optical Society of America

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