Nintendo's 3DS has caused something of a stir in the world of 3D imaging. Rather than using unfashionable and unwieldy 3D glasses to view a stereoscopic image, the 3DS and some other recent gadgets use autostereoscopy, utilizing two layered screens to display an image that appears 3D to the user.
Now, technology company MasterImage is developing autostereoscopic screens for use in cars and aircraft.
MasterImage had originally been developing the technology for the next generation of smartphones, but the interest in automotive and aviation circles was high enough for the company to move into those markets.
Modern vehicles are full of display screens, from TV screens for passengers in the rear to infotainment displays in the front, and some high-end luxury vehicles even feature digital instruments. This leaves plenty of scope for rolling out 3D screens in vehicles.
If Ron Taylor of MasterImage is to be believed, 3D technology could add a new dimension (excuse the pun) to the world of in-car entertainment: "“Most models of cars will also have Wi-Fi; that means that car owners will have the ability to download 3D movies and (passengers could) watch them on a trip."
As the 3DS has shown, gaming can work well in 3D too, so passengers could also potentially download games and compete with each other, and satellite navigation systems could make use of the technology too.
The world of automotive entertainment moves a lot slower than mobile devices, so you shouldn't expect to see widespread uptake of the 3D tech for the next year or so.
A word of warning though: Nintendo's 3DS has warnings that extended play may cause nausea in some users - so if you're buying a car with 3D screens in the back, it might be wise to limit your kids' use if they suffer from car sickness...
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