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12 February 2010

3D screens get out


This month has seen the launch of two digital out-of-home campaigns that involve the use of 3D video content.

In summary there are five different types of 3D viewing technologies:

1) Red/blue disposable glasses + standard TV . 

This has been around for many years and was used for the Jaws 3D cinema release in 1983 as well as during Channel 4’s recent 3D week.


2) Polarised glasses + twin projectors. 

The most prolific and used in cinemas for releases such as Avatar.  This option offers the most extreme 3D effect in terms of depth


3) Shutter glasses + special TV. 

The easiest analogy is to imagine glasses in which the two lenses switch from transparent to opaque alternately.  This is being proposed for mainstream consumer TV viewing by Panasonic


4)      4) No glasses + special screen. 

These ‘autostereoscopic’ screens do not offer the same amount of depth as types 2 & 3 above but are still very impressive. The analogy here is a lens fitted into the TV screen which splits the image up into different planes which represent slightly different viewing angles.  The brain then recombines these to form an apparently 3D image.  These are well suited to mainstream OOH viewing as any passer-by can experience 3D with no effort


5)     5) No glasses + holographic projection

A thin transparent screen is stretched across a frame, a bit like a giant piece of cling film.  Images/video are projected onto this screen.  As the screen is transparent any black backgrounds effectively disappear and the objects appear to have depth (and sometimes float)


The worlds first outdoor campaign using glasses-free 3D screens (type 4 above), has recently hit the streets of London advertising the film Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief.    Five of  ClearChannel’s bus shelter 6 sheets have been customised to incorporate 3D plasma screens and vinyl wraps

 PJ 02022010059


Such screens have been existence for a few years but we are only now starting to see them within campaigns because adapting them for outdoor use is much less straightforward than it sounds.  A huge amount of prototyping and testing is required to deal with factors such as sunlight, variable viewing distances, reflections and of course waterproofing.


In the USA, Visa have utilised a type 3 display within an installation at New York’s Grand Central station.  In this instance viewers were given glasses that they could keep. 

Due to the cost of glasses (especially when multiplied by the number of potential OOH viewers) and display technology, this approach is most suitable for short term PR driven activity or when accompanied by experiential support.


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