Welcome to 3DIcon
3DIcon is a developer of groundbreaking 3D projection display technologies that are being designed to produce full color, 360-degree volumetric high-resolution images. The company’s mission is to surpass current 3D technologies by creating true-to-life 3D images that occupy a 3D space and appear fully formed as viewed from any angle without any special viewing aids. The commercial applications for 3D imaging technologies are projected to approach a market size of well over $7 billion by 2018. General applications include Healthcare and Medical, Industrial, Media and Entertainment, Defense and Security and Architectural and Engineering.
The company recently achieved a historic breakthrough in the development of 3D display technologies with the creation of a working laboratory prototype of its proprietary 3D display system CSpace®. CSpace® renders high-resolution, 360-degree, three-dimensional images without any viewing aids. 3DIcon’s CSpace® technology is expected to be scalable to large volumes, high resolutions, and will eventually support full color images.
This technological breakthrough represented by CSpace® has been recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, which issued 3DIcon patents in December of 2010 and September 2012. Patents #7,858,913 and 8,247,755 were issued to 3DIcon for “Light surface display for rendering a three-dimensional image” and “3D Volumetric Display.” These patents strategically position the company to lead the emergence and commercialization of volumetric 3D display technologies.
In 2011 3DIcon launched Pixel Precision®, a software product that targets the R&D market for developers using Texas Instruments’ DLP line of products.
A Google™ search on the term “3D Display” resulted over 130 million links. This immense world of 3D Display technology can be sliced and diced in many ways. Here are two of the most relevant ways to categorize the type of 3D displays: Volumetric or 2-D Panel Based and Stereoscopic or Auto-Stereoscopic (see inset for more detail).
The Importance of 3D
Scientists estimate that almost 50% of the sensory (afferent) neurons are related to the visual and perception sense. Seeing in 3D involves and stimulates many times more of these neurons than seeing in 2D.
This sets in motion a chain of exponentially increasing number of neurons that are in turn effected, controlling cognition, perception, reaction - all the other functions of the brain and nervous system.
The net result is that many, many times more brain power is activated for the task at hand. Whether it be controlling air-traffic, analyzing geo-spatial data or conceptualizing the molecular structure of the next wonder drug.
Imagine if you were to drive a car without being able to see the road, or the traffic next to you or without a visual sense of speed. What if you only had a map with dots marking the position of your car, the traffic and a whole lot of dials and panels for speed, direction and traffic? How effective would that be?
Now translate the above scenario to the thousands of air-traffic controllers who direct thousands of planes with just that kind of situational awareness.
The list is endless:
- 3D imaging was 3 times more effective in detecting polyps
- 3D imaging increases the accuracy of tumor treatment several times
- The use of 3D is critical for the study of DNA structures
- 3D analysis is indispensable for oil and natural gas exploration
Now imagine, if the images that were captured in 3D could actually be seen in actual 3D, instead of being simulated as 2D in 3D.
Volumetric 3D Imaging Systems have been the staple of science fiction since they were first postulated in 1912. Although many attempts have been made, none have been good enough for commercialization. Only recently has the underlying imaging technology come of age and serious attempts at developing commercial volumetric display technology has found traction.
What is different about Volumetric Displays?
A volumetric display device is a graphical display device that forms a visual representation of an object in three physical dimensions, as opposed to the planar image of traditional screens that simulate depth through a number of different visual effects. One definition offered by pioneers in the field is that volumetric displays create 3-D imagery via the emission, scattering, or relaying of illumination from well-defined regions in (x,y,z) space. (Source: Wikipedia)
The main difference from an application and usage point is that volumetric displays are not 3D on a 2D screen or a flat panel.
Advantages of Volumetric Displays
- Render actual voxels which 2D screens by definition cannot
- Capable of displaying actual spatial relationships between objects and elements – thus are much more appropriate for 3D visualization, especially those applications that involve parameters of space and distance
- Naturally auto-stereoscopic since they do not depend upon artificial parallax creation
- Provide viewing of the object or scene from multiple points-of-view
- Do not require artificial depth cues like lighting, shading and perspective
In December 2010 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted CSpace® U.S. patent #7,858,913. The patent strategically positions the company to lead the emergence and commercialization of volumetric 3D display technology.
In September 2012 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a new patent (U.S. patent #8,247,755) to the University of Oklahoma titled “3D Volumetric Display.” 3DIcon has an exclusive license to that patent, and all patents developed with OU, under a technology license agreement with the University.
CSpace is a unique 3D display technology that is being designed to produce high-resolution full-color, true 3D images. The CSpace Lab Prototype 2 was completed in October of 2012 and we began the development of our final laboratory prototype, Lab Proto 3, in November of 2012.
The display does not require special viewing aids or glasses, does not cause viewer fatigue during prolonged use, and is capable of producing surface rendered solid looking or translucent images for viewing inside of objects, such as human organs, cargo containers, baggage, ocean or terrain features, or troop carriers, all of which are beyond the visualization capabilities of current display technologies. Our CSpace technology delivers a true 3D image without the need to rotate the entire display or projection screen as required with most other volumetric display technologies.
Displays based on CSpace have potential applications in such fields as medical imaging (CT, MRI, x-Ray, 3D ultrasound), passenger, baggage and cargo scanning, military performance-mission planning, tactical awareness, decision support, and post engagement assessment-engineering, geospatial exploration, education and training applications, entertainment applications (video games), air traffic control systems, space transportation systems, and earth science research.
For example, CSpace provides volume rendering of the surface and interior of any human organ, which could increase the effectiveness of real-time imaging systems such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that are central to future medical care and research. Other types of 3D displays can render surface objects but are unable to show an interior view; those displays would not be effective in applications that require rendering of object interiors such as medical images, cargo scanning for homeland security, and others.
Pixel Precision® is a software product, for those engaged in the research, design, and development of applications and products involving DLP® technology from Texas Instruments (TI).
Pixel Precision® is the perfect companion product for the DMD Discovery™ line from TI. With Pixel Precision®, each and every micro-mirror of the DMD Discovery™ is individually addressable and controllable.
Without Pixel Precision®, users of the DMD Discovery Kits had to undertake significant programming for precision control or undertake tedious and time-consuming routines for simple DMD control requirements.
Pixel Precision® eliminates all of that. Now, a user-friendly user interface with powerful editing capabilities makes it simple. What used to take days, weeks and months is now completed in a fraction of the time. And there is no need for any expensive programming or programmers.
- Simpler, easier development
- Focus of development returns to core R&D activities instead of programming
- And most important – Reduction in time to market for products and applications
Pixel Precision® supports both the Discovery™ 1100 and Discovery™ 3000 devices. Supported devices: Discovery™ 1100; Discovery™ 1100 with ALP; Discovery™ 3000 XGA with ALP; Discovery™ 3000 SXGA+ with ALP; Discovery™ 3000 XGA with ALP (Basic); and Discovery™ 3000 SXGA+ with ALP (Basic).
3DIcon has an exclusive distribution agreement with Digital Light Innovations (DLi), an authorized Design Partner and Reseller for TI under which DLi will bundle Pixel Precision software with its DLi41xx series of development kits for Texas Instrument’s DLP projection imaging technology.
Forward Looking Statements
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION ACT OF 1995: With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this blog are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The actual future results of 3DIcon could differ significantly from those statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks and uncertainties such as the inability to finance the company's operations, inability to hire and retain qualified personnel, and changes in the general economic climate. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential" or "continue," the negative of such terms, or other comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements should not be regarded as a representation by 3DIcon, or any other person, that such forward-looking statements will be achieved. We undertake no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of the foregoing, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.