How the Nintendo 3DS Screen Works

Recently, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS is a 3D version of the DS. The interesting thing about this 3D handhled is that it doesn’t require glasses for you to see the 3D effect in games.

Traditionally 3D TV requires that you wear special glasses that are designed to either filter or block out images to each eye (depending on the technology used) and by alternating images at a high frequency it makes it appear that the image being seen on the flat screen is actually 3D.

The Nintendo doesn’t require glasses though and instead of using a regular flat type sreen, the system uses what is called a parallax barrier. The parallax barrier is capable of projecting images out at two different angles. If you look at it from the left you see one image and if you look at it from the right you see a slightly different image. This requires that you hold the 3DS is a “sweet spot” so that you can see both images at the same time with each eye seeing a slightly different image.

When moving out of the sweet spot the image changes and you no longer get the 3D effect. Technology is advancing in this area, but for now it seems to work best for screens that you sit near to and use alone rather than in a living room for the family.

Microsoft [MSFT] is working on a parallax barrier that can detect where people are sat in a room and slightly adjust so that a sweet spot isn’t needed. That technology is a few years away though.

Check out the video over on Kombo to see a demonstration of how the Nintendo 3DS screen works.

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