Leia brings 3D Lightfield to a monitor near you
Don’t blink. The screen you’re looking at right now is about to feel very outdated.
You knew it was going to happen – a bold next-gen 3D Lightfield panel integrated into a 15.6" display. Our team has been hard at work, pushing what’s possible as Lightfield technology continues to evolve. OEMs this week will be able to experience it for themselves at Display Week 2022 and perhaps, one day, it will be at a store near you!
The monitor offers a bright, crisp 4K resolution for traditional 2D viewing, a shared 3D Lightfield mode, and a deeply immersive 3D mode using head-tracking for a single user.
What does it mean for Leia’s future plans and how do we see this monitor as another step to democratizing the Metaverse? Leia CEO, David Fattal, gives us a behind-the-scenes look…and we’ll be sharing more of this larger conversation here on the Leia Blog this week.
First, we have to ask, what should we be calling this monitor platform? Do we have an official name for it?
It’s not so much a product as a development platform, aimed to showcase the potential for OEMs. We’ve just been calling it “15.6” for now. Or, the “Monitor 15.6” [laughs] We’ve focused on building it, not naming it.
How long has the Monitor 15.6” been in development?
Every year at Leia we typically have a reference design for a new product we put out. The Lume Pad was released last year, showcasing how Lightfield experiences could be packaged in a consumer-friendly Android tablet. And, of course, we have other products in development. We’ll share more on these soon.
We also put out these display development platforms that are more forward-looking and experimental, meant to accelerate adoption by OEMs.
In the case of the Monitor 15.6", we started its development towards the end of last year. We are starting to share test units with prospective customers to experiment with how they might be able to use them with both existing and new offerings. It’s more than just the hardware, though. It’s also about the software, the Unity and Unreal SDKs, and the computer vision tools that all work together to make this naturally immersive possible.
So in the same way that our technology allows devices to operate in both 2D and 3D modes, this monitor platform has similar capabilities?
All Leia devices share a common ability to switch between an amazing, no-compromise 2D picture at full resolution and 3D Lightfield. We see this as a non-negotiable condition to be adopted by the mass market. In the case of the Monitor 15.6", the monitor operates in 2D at 120hz in 4K. So it works well as a traditional gaming-ready monitor, then switches to a 12-view Lightfield display when requested by an app. We have also introduced head tracking with a fast camera, working seamlessly with our SDK to update every individual pixel on the display in response to your head movement.
We think the results speak for themselves. You get this deep sense of immersion while remaining extremely comfortable to the naked eye. Honestly, we think it’s the best 3D impression ever achieved for a naked-eye 3D device to date!
What were some of the challenges that needed to be addressed when moving from a tablet format to this monitor?
The display on a mobile device is working to get the most out of a mobile CPU, dealing with heat and power concerns. Larger displays have less mechanical and power constraints and are easier in that sense.
Funny enough, if you look at the history of our screens, we started off with the hardest possible design: creating the display for a consumer smartphone. Then we moved up to the 10.8-inch tablet form factor. We now have this 15.6" device and this is just the beginning. Wait for next year’s development platform.
We’ll start clearing space on our desks now…
In theory, there’s no limitation on how big we can go with our proprietary nanotechnology. This DLB layer that we insert in panels is what makes our 3D Lightfield effects possible.
Every time we go bigger, though, we need to scale our nano-structure designs. We need to tweak design parameters. We need to make sure brightness, color, and the 3D effect are optimized and uniform throughout the display.
What does that mean for screen sizes that people can realistically expect to see down the line?
Well, we see a lot of industries where our panels make sense. In gaming, for example, wherever you would play — from a phone to a tablet to a desktop monitor — we see a strong potential for Lightfield panels to bring even deeper immersion into the experience.
We see this technology touching people on a personal level — what they’ll use during the day to play a game or have a 3D chat with friends.
Check back for the next installment where we dig deeper into the evolution of Leia’s groundbreaking nanotechnology, talk more about the monitor platform and get into why this is such a huge leap forward in 3D Lightfield display technology.
If you’re at Display Week 2022 and have the chance, stop by the Leia Inc booth (BOOTH #1521) where you can experience this new 3D Lightfield monitor platform for yourself!