The EyeFly 3D screen protector film, brought to consumers by Nanovue, promises to turn regular screens in mobile devices into glasses-free 3D displays. The product, originally nano-engineered by the Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering’s (IMRE) in Singapore, is not the first of its kind of the market, but Nanovue claims it offers considerable advantages over competitors. The film has no perceivable influence on screen brightness, works both in portrait and landscape mode and, most importantly, does not distort regular 2D images.
“The filter is essentially a piece of plastic film with about half a million perfectly shaped lenses engineered onto its surface using IMRE’s proprietary nanoimprinting technology,” said Dr. Jaslyn Law of IMRE, who worked with TP to improve the product’s transparency and smoothness.
The material is a modernized and miniaturized take on lenticular lens technology. It uses an array of lenticular lenses to magnify different sections of the image beneath the film depending on the viewing angle, and effectively renders stereoscopic 3D content. Each of over 500,000 tiny lenses has a 1:100 height-to-width ratio and the total film thickness is 0.1 mm.
Before they can start enjoying 3D content, users have to download a viewing app (available both on Android and iOS) and use the calibration mode to properly align the film on the screen. The process seems to be rather painful and time-consuming, but, once this is sorted, the app can be used to view stereoscopic video content in 3D. A separate app lets you view images and convert your 2D photos into 3D. Also, a software development kit is to be made available to all developers interested in adding an extra dimension to their existing titles.
The EyeFly 3D film for iPhone 5 and the 5th generation iPod touch can already be pre-ordered for US$34.95, and a Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPad 4 version is next in the pipeline.
Interestingly, another product based on this technology to be marketed by Nanoveu is aimed at online banking security rather than mobile 3D entertainment. The film embedded in a token or a credit card can be used in a two-stage login authentication process, to optically decipher an otherwise unintelligible code displayed on screen.
More information is available in the video below.