Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) demonstrates a concert-style 3D projection of the virtual idol Hatsune Miku — except it’s on a tabletop. (To turn off the superimposed comments in the video, select the word balloon icon in the bottom right corner of the video.) Unlike last year’s 39’s Giving Day concert, people can view Hatsune Miku dancing in 360 degrees from any seat around the table, since it uses the current fVisiON 3D display prototype developedby NICT’s Shunsuke Yoshida. No glasses are necessary to view the display in person.
Yoshida and the other members of the NICT team presented the fVisiON 3D display at the annual SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles last July. Researcher Dr. Shunsuke Yoshida gives plenty of details about the project he rather cannily chose to exhibit using Miku, although sadly he is silent as to just how low a viewing angle the technology allows :
fVisiOn is a novel glasses-free tabletop 3D display. The developed novel technique can float standing 3D image on a blank flat tabletop surface, and allow multiple viewers to observe the 3D from omnidirection of 360° in seated condition. It is designed to be a friendly interface for multiple users for varied tabletop tasks by featuring our glasses-free method and observation style.
For generation of the 3D images, fVisiOn employs a newly developed special optical device as a screen and a series of micro projectors arranged circularly. The combination of those devices reproduces a light field in a certain volume on the table.
The light field represents a bunch of directional rays radiated from surfaces of objects which are assumed to be on the table. The light field of our method is optimized for observing in seated condition. In other words, the fVisiOn’s viewing area occupies an oblique position above the table.
Additionally, our entire 3D imaging mechanism is installed underneath the table. It keeps the tabletop area clear and does not disturb collaborative work and natural communications. For example, fVisiOn can display virtual 3D images beside printed documents and physical mock-ups.
The developed system is a prototype to validate a 3D generation principle we proposed. It employs a conical-shaped optical device and 96 projectors, and covers the viewing area of approximately 120° around the table, though it is 1/3 of ideal implementation. This primal prototype can float the 3D images of a height of approximately 5 cm on the tabletop surface like a centerpiece in the center of the table.
Maybe it won’t take any long until you can see Hatsune Miku’s Concert without that glass wall, lol.