What 3D glasses exist and how they work


3D glasses ensure that each human eye sees a different image, which - if a suitable image source is available - can create an impression of depth and space.


Over time, several types of 3D glasses have been developed. Here are the most famous ones:

Active 3D Glasses: These glasses contain two small, simple LCD screens, one for each eye. However, these do not create an image themselves, but only alternately dim and brighten in sync with the image on the screen. Thus, only the image intended for the eye will ever reach it. These glasses are used with some TV sets.

Passive Polarizing 3D Glasses: These glasses use passive polarizing filters. The glasses with polarizing filters pass an image to one eye with one polarization of light (e.g. horizontal), to the other with the other (vertical). They are usually used in 3D cinemas. Their advantage is that, unlike active 3D glasses, they do not require batteries.

Passive 3D glasses for anaglyph: Classic red-blue (or red-cyan) glasses create a 3D effect by filtering colours. Their advantage is their low cost and wide applicability to paper photos and conventional monitors, the disadvantage is color distortion.

Virtual Reality Goggles: These glasses provide each eye with its image by having a full color display built in for each eye. The downside is the higher price and, so far, generally less than perfect resolution.

What are 3D glasses good for

Entertainment: They make the experience of watching movies, photos, games or videos more intense and fun.

Education: In some cases, 3D can help you better understand complex concepts or spatial structures. It is also useful for some types of training.

Business: The 3D effect can increase the impact of presentations, but also help in the development of new products.

3DJournal, January 2005