Sumitomo 3M Ltd exhibited an optical film that can realize a 3D LCD panel viewable with the naked eye at FPD International 2009.
The film does not sacrifice spatial resolution and enables to easily switch between 2D and 3D representations. Sumitomo 3M has already started volume production of the film for small- and middle-sized LCD panels, and the film has already been adopted for some devices.
Dome-shaped lenses are seen on the top side of the film, and the back side has prism-like structures. When the film is placed on the light guide plate of an edge-lit backlight unit that has LED light sources on the right and left sides of a panel, directionality is added to the backlight.
Sumitomo 3M utilized the directionality so that the light from the left LED light source comes to the right eye and the light from the right LED light source comes to the left eye. And the company enabled to view 3D images with the naked eye by synchronizing the lighting of the left LED light source and the display of the image seen by the right eye (and the lighting of the right LED light source and the display of the image seen by the left eye).
Furthermore, it is possible to show 2D images by using the right and left LED light sources at the same time and displaying the same image for both the right and left eyes. Therefore, it is easy to switch between 2D and 3D images.
At the exhibition site, Sumitomo 3M showcased 9- and 2.8-inch LCD panels equipped with the new film.