US20110157330A1 - 2d/3d projection system - Google Patents

2d/3d projection system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110157330A1
US20110157330A1 US12/982,047 US98204710A US2011157330A1 US 20110157330 A1 US20110157330 A1 US 20110157330A1 US 98204710 A US98204710 A US 98204710A US 2011157330 A1 US2011157330 A1 US 2011157330A1
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Prior art keywords
light
projection
image
assembly
eye
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US12/982,047
Inventor
James D. Bennett
Jeyhan Karaoguz
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Avago Technologies General IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Broadcom Corp
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Priority to US30311910P priority
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Priority to US12/982,047 priority patent/US20110157330A1/en
Publication of US20110157330A1 publication Critical patent/US20110157330A1/en
Assigned to BROADCOM CORPORATION reassignment BROADCOM CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KARAOGUZ, JEYHAN, BENNETT, JAMES D.
Assigned to BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: BROADCOM CORPORATION
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Assigned to BROADCOM CORPORATION reassignment BROADCOM CORPORATION TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS Assignors: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT
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Abstract

Projection systems, including projectors and projection screens, that support the presentation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images for viewing are described, as well as methods for operating the same. In each of the example projection systems, a projection screen is used in conjunction with a light manipulator, such as a parallax barrier or a lenticular lens, that is disposed adjacent to (and may be integrated with) the projection screen to support the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/291,818, filed on Dec. 31, 2009, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/303,119, filed on Feb. 10, 2010. The entirety of each of these applications is incorporated by reference herein.
  • This application is also related to the following U.S. Patent Applications, each of which also claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 61/291,818 and 61/303,119 and each of which is incorporated by reference herein:
  • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/774,307, filed on May 5, 2010, and entitled “Display with Elastic Light Manipulator”; and
  • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/845,409, filed on Jul. 28, 2010, and entitled “Display with Adaptable Parallax Barrier.”
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to projectors, projection screens, and projection systems that support the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images.
  • 2. Background Art
  • A projector is a device that receives a signal representative of an image and projects or “throws” the corresponding image on a projection screen or other suitable surface using a lens system. Projectors use a very bright light to project the image, and most modern ones can correct any curves, blurriness, and other inconsistencies through manual settings. Projectors are widely used for conference room presentations, classroom training and live events applications. Projectors are also widely used in many schools and other educational settings, connected to an interactive whiteboard to interactively teach pupils.
  • Projectors are also increasingly being used for home theater applications. Such applications allow consumers to view video content from a variety of sources on a large screen, often accompanied by surround-sound audio, while in the comfort of their own home. A projector used in the home may be mounted or placed in front of a projection screen or other suitable reflective surface. In this case, the light projected by the projector is reflected off of the projection screen and the reflected light is perceived by a viewer. A projector may also be built into a cabinet or other suitable enclosure behind a rear-projection screen to form a single unified display device, sometimes referred to as a rear-projection television or RPTV. In the case of rear-projection systems, the screen passes the light emitted by the projector rather than reflecting it.
  • An emerging trend in home entertainment involves the delivery of video content capable of being displayed in three-dimensions. A variety of techniques may be used to achieve three-dimensional image viewing functionality. In the case of projection systems, the primary approach to viewing three-dimensional content appears to be the use of glasses that may be worn by users to view three-dimensional images projected on a screen. Examples of such glasses include glasses that utilize color filters or polarized filters. In each case, the lenses of the glasses pass two-dimensional images of differing perspective to the user's left and right eyes. The images are combined in the visual center of the brain of the user to be perceived as a three-dimensional image. In another example, synchronized left eye, right eye liquid crystal display (LCD) shutter glasses may be used with conventional projection systems to create a three-dimensional viewing illusion. Problems exist with such techniques for viewing three-dimensional images. For instance, persons that use such projection systems to view three-dimensional images may suffer from headaches, eyestrain, and/or nausea after long exposure. Furthermore, some content, such as two-dimensional text, may be more difficult to read and interpret when displayed three-dimensionally.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Projection systems, including projectors and projection screens, that support the presentation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images for viewing are described herein, as well as methods for operating the same. Such apparatuses, systems, and methods are substantially as shown in and/or described herein in connection with at least one of the figures, as set forth more completely in the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the pertinent art to make and use the invention.
  • FIG. 1 is a diagram of an example projection system that utilizes a combined projection screen/parallax barrier and a projector having multiple projection assemblies to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of a projector having two projection assemblies in accordance with an embodiment, wherein one of the projection assemblies comprises user-moveable components to allow for manual adjustment thereof.
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of a projector having two projection assemblies in accordance with an alternate embodiment, wherein both of the projections assemblies comprise user-moveable components to allow for manual adjustment thereof.
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a projector that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a projector that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an alternate embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a projector that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with yet another alternate embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 is a diagram of an example projection system that utilizes a combined projection screen/lenticular lens and a projector having multiple projection assemblies to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a projector that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with a further alternate embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a projection system in accordance with an embodiment that supports synchronization between adaptable parallax barriers in a projector and an adaptable light manipulator of a projection screen.
  • FIG. 10 depicts a flowchart of a method used by a projection system to visually present a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image to a viewer in accordance with certain embodiments.
  • FIG. 11 is a diagram of an example projection system that utilizes a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having a single projection assembly to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with one embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a projector that includes a single projection assembly for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 is a block diagram of a projector that includes a single projection assembly for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an alternate embodiment.
  • FIG. 14 depicts a flowchart of an alternate method used by a projection system to visually present a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image to a viewer in accordance with certain embodiments.
  • FIG. 15 is a diagram of an example rear-projection system that utilizes a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment.
  • The present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION I. INTRODUCTION
  • The present specification discloses one or more embodiments that incorporate the features of the invention. The disclosed embodiment(s) merely exemplify the invention. The scope of the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment(s). The invention is defined by the claims appended hereto.
  • References in the specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “an example embodiment,” etc., indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to effect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.
  • Furthermore, it should be understood that spatial descriptions (e.g., “above,” “below,” “up,” “left,” “right,” “down,” “top,” “bottom,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” etc.) used herein are for purposes of illustration only, and that practical implementations of the structures described herein can be spatially arranged in any orientation or manner.
  • II. EXEMPLARY 2D/3D PROJECTION SYSTEMS
  • Projection systems, including projectors and projection screens, that support the presentation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images for viewing are described below, as well as methods for operating the same. In each of the example projection systems described herein, a projection screen is used in conjunction with a light manipulator, such as a parallax barrier or a lenticular lens, that is disposed adjacent to (and may be integrated with) the projection screen to support the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images. First, exemplary projection systems that utilize a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having at least two projection assemblies will be described. Second, exemplary projection systems that utilize a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having a single projection assembly will be described. Finally, rear-projection variants will be described.
  • A. Example 2D/3D Projection Systems that use a Combined Projection Screen/Light Manipulator and Projector with at Least Two Projection Assemblies
  • FIG. 1 is a diagram of an example projection system 100 that utilizes a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having multiple projection assemblies to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with one embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, projection system 100 includes a projector 102 and a projection screen 104. Projection system 100 is intended to represent a front-projection system. In accordance with a front-projection system, viewers are located on a same side of projection screen 104 as projector 102.
  • Projector 102 includes a first projection assembly 112 and a second projection assembly 114. First projection assembly 112 is operable to project first light 132 toward projection screen 104 and second projection assembly 114 is operable to project second light 134 toward projection screen 104. First projection assembly 112 may project first light 132 toward projection screen 104 in accordance with a first orientation while second projection assembly 112 may project second light 134 toward projection screen 104 in accordance with a second orientation that is different than the first orientation. By utilizing different orientations, first and second projection assemblies 112 and 114 can respectively project first light 132 and second light 134 at projection screen 104 at different angles so as to achieve a desired viewing effect.
  • In a two-dimensional viewing mode, first light 132 and second light 134 may each represent the same two-dimensional image, or at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. In a three-dimensional viewing mode, first light 132 may represent at least a first image and second light 134 may represent at least a second image, the first and second images corresponding to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image. The manner in which projector 102 operates to generate and project first light 132 and second light 134 will be described in more detail below.
  • Projection screen 104 comprises a combination of a reflective panel 122 and a light manipulator in the form of a parallax barrier 124. Panel 122 may comprise a sheet of white, silver or grey fabric, a painted wall, or any other element or structure having a surface that is suitable for diffusively reflecting light projected thereon. Parallax barrier 124 comprises a series of vertical light-blocking elements that are disposed in front of panel 122. The vertical light-blocking elements of parallax barrier 124 define a series of vertical light-passing gaps or slits. Parallax barrier 124 may be implemented as a series of physically distinct bars or strips that are mounted in place over panel 122. Alternatively, parallax barrier 124 may be implemented as a single layer of material comprising alternating opaque and transparent bars or strips. Still other implementations of parallax barrier 124 may be used.
  • Parallax barrier 124 is arranged such that only a portion of first light 132 is allowed to reach certain portions of panel 122, referred to herein as first portions of panel 122. Parallax barrier 124 is further arranged so that light reflected from these first portions is substantially directed to only one eye of a viewer 106. Parallax barrier 124 is also arranged such that only a portion of second light 134 is allowed to reach certain portions of panel 122, referred to herein as second portions of panel 122. Parallax barrier 124 is further arranged so that light reflected from these second portions is substantially directed to only the other eye of viewer 106.
  • For ease of explanation, the image content of the portion of first light 132 that is reflected from the first portions of panel 122 to one eye of viewer 106 will be referred to as “first image content” and the image content of the portion of second light 134 that is reflected from the second portions of panel 122 to the other eye of viewer 106 will be referred to as “second image content.” By controlling the first and second image content, system 100 can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by viewer 106. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 106 to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 106 to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • One aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer involves controlling how light generated by one or more light sources within projector 102 is filtered to generate first light 132 and second light 134. Various techniques for performing such filtering will be described below in reference to particular implementations of projector 102.
  • Another aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer involves taking into account the arrangement of panel 122 and parallax barrier 124. In system 100, it is assumed that panel 122 and parallax barrier 124 are each mounted or placed in a manner such that they are maintained at a fixed distance from each other. It is further assumed that the dimensions of the blocking elements of parallax barrier 124 and the spacing there between is also fixed.
  • Given this fixed nature of projection screen 104, to ensure that desired first image content reaches one eye of a viewer and desired second image content reaches the other eye of the viewer, the distance between each of first projection assembly 112 and second projection assembly 114 and projection screen 104 must be controlled, as well as the angles at which light is projected by each of first projection assembly 112 and second projection assembly 114 toward projection screen 104.
  • One manner of controlling the distance between first and second projection assemblies 112 and 114 and projection screen 104, as well as the angles at which such elements project light onto projection screen 104, is to mount or place projector 102 in a suitable location relative to projection screen 104. To this end, projector 102 may be configured to execute an application that assists an installer thereof in selecting a proper location for mounting or placement thereof. For example, such application may cause projector 102 to project test images or patterns via first projection assembly 112 and/or second projection assembly 114 that can be used by an installer to determine whether or not projector 102 has been mounted or placed in a suitable location relative to projection screen 104. Still other methods may be used to select a suitable location.
  • Additionally, in certain embodiments, the distance between each of first projection assembly 112 and second projection assembly 114 and projection screen 104 as well as the angles at which each assembly directs light towards projection screen 104 can be controlled by permitting a user to adjust certain aspects of one or both projection assemblies. For example, FIG. 2 is a front view of a projector 200 having two projection assemblies in accordance with an embodiment, wherein one of the projection assemblies comprises user-moveable components to allow for user adjustment thereof Projector 200 may be one implementation of projector 102 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 2, projector 200 includes a first projection assembly 202 that is moveable along a horizontal axis 206 and a second projection assembly 204. Such a design enables a user to adjust a horizontal position of first projection assembly 202 and a horizontal spacing between first projection assembly 202 and second projection assembly 204 to achieve a desired viewing configuration. For example, the horizontal spacing may be adjusted to account for the relative distance of projector 200 from a projection screen in relation to a viewer and/or to account for a viewer's change in location. Depending upon the implementation of projector 200, such adjustment may be made, for example, by manipulating a dial, joystick or other integrated control element of projector 200 or by using a remote control interface or the like.
  • As another example, FIG. 3 is a front view of a projector 300 having two projection assemblies in accordance with an embodiment, wherein both of the projection assemblies comprise user-moveable components to allow for user adjustment thereof Projector 300 may also be an implementation of projector 102 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 3, projector 300 includes a first projection assembly 302 that is moveable along a first horizontal axis 306 and a second projection assembly 304 that is moveable along a second horizontal axis 308. Projector 300 is designed so that a user can adjust the horizontal position of each of first projection assembly 302 and second projection assembly 304 as well as a horizontal spacing between such elements to achieve a desired viewing configuration. Since both projection assemblies are adjustable in this manner, projector 300 may more flexibly accommodate, for example, arrangements where a viewer is located to the left or right of the center of the projection screen. Depending upon the implementation of projector 300, such adjustment may be made, for example, by manipulating a dial, joystick or other integrated control element of projector 300 or by using a remote control interface or the like. In one embodiment, horizontal movement of first projection assembly 302 and second projection assembly 304 is synchronized such that each projection assembly is offset by the same distance from a predefined point (e.g. a predefined center point between the two projection assemblies).
  • As will be appreciated by persons skilled in the relevant art(s), in certain embodiments, other aspects associated with a projection assembly may be modifiable by a user. For example, depending upon the projector design, a user may be able to shift a projection assembly in a horizontal, vertical and/or diagonal direction, adjust an orientation of a projection assembly to change the angles at which light projected therefrom strikes a projections screen (e.g., pan or tilt type controls), and/or adjust a zoom level of a lens assembly associated with a particular projection assembly.
  • In FIG. 1, projector 102 is shown as being behind viewer 106. However, such an arrangement has been provided by way of example only. For example, in accordance with other embodiments, projector 102 may be located directly above the head of viewer 106 or in any other location at which projector 102 can project light onto projection screen 104. To accommodate different positions of projector 102, different methods of generating first light 132 and/or second light 134 may be utilized, different aspects of first projection assembly 112 and/or second projection assembly 114 may be modified, and/or different configurations of projection screen 104 may be used.
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a projector 400 that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment. Projector 400 may comprise one implementation of projector 102 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 4, projector 400 includes a first projection assembly 402, a second projection assembly 404 and projector control circuitry 406 connected to each.
  • Projector control circuitry 406 controls first projector assembly 402 to produce first projected light 436 for projection onto a projection screen. Projector control circuitry 406 further controls second projector assembly 404 to produce second projected light 446 for projection onto a projection screen. First projected light 436 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 446 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by the viewer it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • As further shown in FIG. 4, first projection assembly 402 includes a first light source 412, a first image generator 414 and a first lens assembly 416. First light source 412 operates to produce first light 432. Depending upon the implementation, first light source 412 may comprise, for example and without limitation, one or more lamps (e.g., one or more fluorescent, incandescent or gas discharge lamps), an array of light emitting diodes (LEDs), an array of laser diodes, or a hybrid light source based on both LED and laser diodes. Still other types of light sources may be used.
  • First image generator 414 receives first light 432 generated by first light source 412 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing first filtered light 434. First filtered light 434 may comprise a plurality of discrete regions of varying color and intensity. Such regions may be referred to, for example, as pixels. Various types of technology may be utilized to implement first image generator 414 including but not limited to liquid crystal display (LCD) projection technology (in which case first image generator 414 may comprise dichroic mirrors and corresponding red, green and blue LCD panels), digital light processing (DLP) projection technology (in which case first image generator 414 may comprise one or more digital micromirror devices), or liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) projection technology (in which case first image generator 414 may comprise one or more LCoS display chips). Still other types of technology may be used to implement first image generator 414.
  • First lens assembly 416 receives first filtered light 434 generated by first image generator 414 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 436. First projected light 436 is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1. Depending upon the implementation, first lens assembly 416 may comprise one or more lenses, and may be implemented as a fixed lens, zoom lens, wide angle lens, or the like.
  • Second projection assembly 404 is configured similarly to first projection assembly 402. For example, second projection assembly 404 includes a second light source 422, a second image generator 424 and a second lens assembly 426. Each of these components may be implemented in a like fashion to similarly-named components of first projection assembly 402 as previously described. Second light source 422 operates to produce second light 442. Second image generator 424 receives second light 442 generated by second light source 422 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing second filtered light 444. Second lens assembly 426 receives second filtered light 444 generated by second image generator 424 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating second projected light 446, which is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1.
  • Projector control circuitry 406 operates to control the image content that is imposed on first light 432 by first image generator 414 and to control the image content that is imposed on second light 442 by second image generator 424. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 400. By way of example, projector control circuitry 406 may cause the same two-dimensional image to be imposed on first light 432 and second light 442 at approximately the same time. Consequently, first projected light 436 and second projected light 446 will comprise a projection of the same two-dimensional image and the viewer will perceive a two-dimensional image formed from reflected portions of first projected light 436 and second projected light 446. Alternatively, projector control circuitry 406 may cause a first image that provides a view of certain subject matter from one perspective to be imposed on first light 432 and a second image that provides a view of the same subject matter from a different perspective to be imposed on second light 442 at approximately the same time. In this case, first projected light 436 will comprise a projection of the first image, second projected light 446 will comprise a projection of the second image, and the viewer will perceive a three-dimensional image formed from reflected portions of first projected light 436 and second projected light 446.
  • Thus, by controlling the image content that is imposed on first light 432 by first image generator 414 and the image content that is imposed on second light 442 by second image generator 424, projector control circuitry 406 can operate to cause a viewer to perceive a particular two-dimensional or three-dimensional image. It is to be understood that the image may comprise a persistent still image or one of a series of images that together comprise a video stream.
  • In a further example, projector control circuitry 406 may impose image content comprising two or more views of the same subject matter from different perspectives on each of first light 432 and second light 442 (e.g., two, four, or eight views of the same subject matter from different perspectives) thereby enabling the simultaneous display of multiple three-dimensional images, wherein the position of a viewer dictates which of the multiple three-dimensional images is currently perceived.
  • FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a projector 500 that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an alternate embodiment. Like projector 400, projector 500 may comprise one implementation of projector 102 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 5, projector 500 includes a first projection assembly 502, a second projection assembly 504 and projector control circuitry 506 connected to each.
  • Projector control circuitry 506 controls first projector assembly 502 to produce first projected light 538 for projection onto a projection screen. Projector control circuitry 506 further controls second projector assembly 504 to produce second projected light 548 for projection onto a projection screen. First projected light 538 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 548 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by the viewer it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • Projector 500 differs from projector 400 in that a single light source 512 is used by both first projection assembly 502 and second projection assembly 504. Like first light source 412 and second light source 422 of projector 400, light source 512 may comprise, for example and without limitation, one or more lamps, an array of LEDs, an array of laser diodes, or a hybrid light source based on both LED and laser diodes. Still other types of light sources may be used. Light source 512 produces light 532 that is received by a light distributor 514 that splits light 532 into first light 534 and second light 544. Depending upon the implementation, light distributor 514 may comprise, for example, a prism, a mirror, or other device or element suitable for splitting a single beam of light into multiple beams of light.
  • As further shown in FIG. 5, first projection assembly 502 also includes a first image generator 516 and a first lens assembly 518. Each of these components may be implemented in a like fashion to first image generator 414 and first lens assembly 416 of projector 400, as previously described. First image generator 516 receives first light 534 from light distributor 514 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing first filtered light 536. First lens assembly 518 receives first filtered light 536 generated by first image generator 516 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 538. First projected light 538 is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1.
  • Second projection assembly 504 further includes a second image generator 526 and a second lens assembly 528, each of which may be implemented in a like fashion to similarly-named components of first projection assembly 502 as previously described. Second image generator 526 receives second light 544 from light distributor 514 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing second filtered light 546. Second lens assembly 528 receives second filtered light 546 generated by second image generator 526 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating second projected light 548, which is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1.
  • Projector control circuitry 506 operates to control the image content that is imposed on first light 534 by first image generator 516 and to control the image content that is imposed on second light 544 by second image generator 526. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 500. By so doing, projector control circuitry 506 can operate to cause a viewer to perceive a particular two-dimensional or three-dimensional image. The three-dimensional image may be one of one or more simultaneously-displayed three-dimensional images. At least one manner by which projector control circuitry 506 may achieve this was described in detail above in reference to projector 400 of FIG. 4 and thus will not be repeated here for the sake of brevity.
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a projector 600 that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with yet another alternate embodiment. Like projector 400, projector 600 may comprise one implementation of projector 102 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 6, projector 600 includes a first projection assembly 602, a second projection assembly 604 and projector control circuitry 606 connected to each.
  • Projector control circuitry 606 controls first projector assembly 602 to produce first projected light 638 for projection onto a projection screen. Projector control circuitry 606 further controls second projector assembly 604 to produce second projected light 648 for projection onto a projection screen. First projected light 638 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 648 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by the viewer it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • Projector 600 differs from projector 400 in that a single light source 612 and a single image generator 614 is used by both first projection assembly 602 and second projection assembly 604. Like first light source 412 and second light source 422 of projector 400, light source 612 may comprise, for example and without limitation, one or more lamps, an array of LEDs, an array of laser diodes, or a hybrid light source based on both LED and laser diodes. Still other types of light sources may be used.
  • Image generator 614 receives light 632 from light source 612 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing filtered light 634. Image generator 614 may be implemented in a like fashion to first image generator 414 of projector 400, as previously described. Filtered light 634 is received by a light distributor 616 that splits filtered light 634 into first filtered light 636 and second filtered light 646, each of which carries the same image content. Depending upon the implementation, light distributor 616 may comprise, for example, a prism, a mirror, or other device or element suitable for splitting a single beam of light into multiple beams of light.
  • As further shown in FIG. 6, first projection assembly 602 also includes a first lens assembly 618. First lens assembly 618 may be implemented in a like fashion to first lens assembly 416 of projector 400, as previously described. First lens assembly 618 receives first filtered light 636 from light distributor 616 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 638. First projected light 638 is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1.
  • Second projection assembly 604 further includes a second lens assembly 628, which may be implemented in a like fashion to first lens assembly 618. Second lens assembly 628 receives second filtered light 646 from light distributor 616 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating second projected light 648, which is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1.
  • Projector control circuitry 606 operates to control the image content that is imposed on light 632 by image generator 614. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 600. By so doing, projector control circuitry 606 can operate to cause a viewer to perceive a particular two-dimensional or three-dimensional image. This is true even though a single image generator (i.e., image generator 614) is used, since in certain implementations the desired two-dimensional or three-dimensional viewing effect can be achieved by projecting light that includes the same image content from both projection assemblies. In a two-dimensional viewing mode, the image content comprises a single two-dimensional image which is then simultaneously projected by both projection assemblies. In a three-dimensional viewing mode, the image content comprises an interleaving of at least a first image and a second image, wherein each image provides a different perspective view of the same subject matter. In accordance with this embodiment, the parallax barrier at the projection screen operates to cause the portion of the image content that represents the first image to be directed to one eye of a viewer and the portion of the image content that represents the second image to be directed to the other eye of the viewer.
  • FIG. 7 is a diagram of an example projection system 700 that utilizes a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having multiple projection assemblies to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an alternate embodiment. As shown in FIG. 7, projection system 700 includes a projector 702 and a projection screen 704. Like projection system 100 of FIG. 1, projection system 700 is intended to represent a front-projection system. In accordance with a front-projection system, viewers are located on a same side of projection screen 704 as projector 702.
  • Projector 702 includes a first projection assembly 712 and a second projection assembly 714. First projection assembly 712 is operable to project first light 732 toward projection screen 704 and second projection assembly 714 is operable to project second light 734 toward projection screen 704. First projection assembly 712 may project first light 732 toward projection screen 704 in accordance with a first orientation while second projection assembly 714 may project second light 734 toward projection screen 704 in accordance with a second orientation that is different than the first orientation. By utilizing different orientations, first and second projection assemblies 712 and 714 can respectively project first light 732 and second light 734 at projection screen 704 at different angles so as to achieve a desired viewing effect.
  • In a two-dimensional viewing mode, first light 732 and second light 734 may each represent at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. In a three-dimensional viewing mode, first light 732 may represent at least a first image and second light 734 may represent at least a second image, the first and second images corresponding to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image. The manner in which projector 702 operates to generate and project first light 732 and second light 734 will be described in more detail below.
  • Projection screen 704 comprises a combination of a reflective panel 722 and a light manipulator in the form of a lenticular lens 724. Like panel 122 of FIG. 1, panel 722 may comprise a sheet of white, silver or grey fabric, a painted wall, or any other element or structure having a surface that is suitable for diffusively reflecting light projected thereon. Lenticular lens 724 comprises an array of magnifying lenses configured so that when viewed from slightly different angles, different images are magnified. Lenticular lens 724 may be physically separate from panel 722 but mounted or otherwise disposed closely thereto. Alternatively, lenticular lens 724 may be physically connected to panel 722 to provide an integrated projection screen.
  • First projection assembly 712 projects first light 732 in such a manner that, after interaction with lenticular lens 724, such light reaches only certain portions of panel 722, referred to herein as first portions of panel 1022. Lenticular lens 724 is configured such that light reflected from these first portions is substantially directed to only one eye of a viewer 706. Second projection assembly 712 projects second light 734 in such a manner that, after interaction with lenticular lens 724, such light reaches only certain portions of panel 722, referred to herein as second portions of panel 722. Lenticular lens 724 is configured such that light reflected from these second portions is substantially directed to only the other eye of viewer 706.
  • For ease of explanation, the image content of first light 732 that is reflected from the first portions of panel 722 to one eye of viewer 706 will be referred to as “first image content” and the image content of second light 734 that is reflected from the second portions of panel 722 to the other eye of viewer 1006 will be referred to herein as “second image content.” By controlling the first and second image content, system 700 can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by viewer 706. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 706 to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 706 to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • One aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer involves controlling how light generated by one or more light sources within projector 702 is filtered to generate first light 732 and second light 734. Various techniques for performing such filtering will be described below in reference to particular implementations of projector 702.
  • Another aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer involves taking into account the arrangement of panel 722 and lenticular lens 724. In system 700, it is assumed that panel 722 and lenticular lens 724 are each mounted or placed in a manner such that they are maintained at a fixed distance from each other. It is further assumed that the dimensions of the magnifying lenses of lenticular lens 724 are also fixed.
  • Given this fixed nature of projection screen 704, to ensure that desired first image content reaches one eye of a viewer and desired second image content reaches the other eye of the viewer, the distance between each of first projection assembly 712 and second projection assembly 714 and projection screen 704 must be controlled, as well as the angles at which light is projected by each of first projection assembly 712 and second projection assembly 714 toward projection screen 704. To achieve this, various approaches and mechanisms described above in reference to projection system 100 of FIG. 1 may be used. Such approaches and mechanisms include but are not limited to mounting or placing projector 702 in a suitable location relative to projection screen 704 and adjusting certain aspects of one or both projection assemblies 712 and 714 (e.g., horizontal, vertical or diagonal shifting of projection assemblies, pan and tilt modifications to the orientation of projection assemblies, and modification of zoom levels of a lens assembly associated with a particular projection assembly) in embodiments that support such features.
  • In FIG. 7, projector 702 is shown as being behind viewer 706. However, such an arrangement has been provided by way of example only. For example, in accordance with other embodiments, projector 702 may be located directly above the head of viewer 706 or in any other location at which projector 702 can project light onto projection screen 704. To accommodate different positions of projector 702, different methods of generating first light 732 and/or second light 734 may be utilized, different aspects of first projection assembly 712 and/or second projection assembly 714 may be modified, and/or different configurations of projection screen 704 may be used.
  • FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a projector 800 that includes two projection assemblies for facilitating the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with a further alternate embodiment. Projector 800 may comprise one implementation of projector 702 of FIG. 7. As shown in FIG. 8, projector 800 includes a first projection assembly 802, a second projection assembly 804 and projector control circuitry 806 connected to each.
  • Projector control circuitry 806 controls first projector assembly 802 to produce first projected light 838 for projection onto a projection screen. Projector control circuitry 806 further controls second projector assembly 804 to produce second projected light 848 for projection onto a projection screen. First projected light 838 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 848 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by the viewer it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • As further shown in FIG. 8, first projection assembly 802 includes a first light source 812, a first image generator 814, a first parallax barrier 816 and a first lens assembly 818. First light source 812 operates to produce first light 832. Depending upon the implementation, first light source 812 may comprise, for example and without limitation, one or more lamps, an array of LEDs, an array of laser diodes, or a hybrid light source based on both LED and laser diodes. Still other types of light sources may be used.
  • First image generator 814 receives first light 832 generated by first light source 812 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing first filtered light 834. First filtered light 834 may comprise a plurality of discrete regions of varying color and intensity. Such regions may be referred to, for example, as pixels. Various types of technology may be utilized to implement first image generator 814 including but not limited to LCD projection technology, DLP projection technology, or LCoS projection technology. Still other types of technology may be used to implement first image generator 814.
  • First parallax barrier 816 receives first filtered light 834 generated by first image generator 814 and manipulates such light to produce first manipulated light 836. The manipulation performed by first parallax barrier 816 causes only certain portions of first filtered light 814 to be passed to first lens assembly 818 and thus, first parallax barrier 816 may be thought of as performing a light filtering function.
  • First lens assembly 818 receives first manipulated light 836 produced by first parallax barrier 816 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 838. First projected light 838 is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 704 of FIG. 7. Depending upon the implementation, first lens assembly 818 may comprise one or more lenses, and may be implemented as a fixed lens, zoom lens, wide angle lens, or the like.
  • Second projection assembly 804 is configured similarly to first projection assembly 802. For example, second projection assembly 804 includes a second light source 822, a second image generator 824, a second parallax barrier 826 and a second lens assembly 828. Each of these components may be implemented in a like fashion to similarly-named components of first projection assembly 802 as previously described. Second light source 822 operates to produce second light 842. Second image generator 824 receives second light 842 generated by second light source 822 and filters such light to impose image content thereon, thereby producing second filtered light 844. Second parallax barrier 826 receives second filtered light 844 generated by second image generator 824 and manipulates such light to produce second manipulated light 846. Second lens assembly 828 receives second manipulated light 846 produced by second parallax barrier 826 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating second projected light 848, which is intended to be “thrown” toward a suitable projection screen, such as projection screen 704 of FIG. 7.
  • Projector control circuitry 806 operates to control the image content that is imposed on first light 832 by first image generator 814 and to control the image content that is imposed on second light 842 by second image generator 824. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 800. By way of example, projector control circuitry 806 may cause the same two-dimensional image to be imposed on first light 832 and second light 842 at approximately the same time. Consequently, first filtered light 836 and second filtered light 846 will carry the same two-dimensional image. First parallax barrier 816 operates to pass only a first portion of this two-dimensional image while second parallax barrier 826 operates to pass only a second portion of this two-dimensional image. Due to the interaction of first projected light 838 with a lenticular lens and reflective panel of a projection screen (e.g., projection screen 704), the first portion of the two-dimensional image will be directed to one eye of a viewer. Due to interaction of second projected light 848 with the lenticular lens and reflective panel of the projection screen, the second portion of the two-dimensional image will be directed to the other eye of the viewer. These portions will be combined in the mind of a viewer as a single two-dimensional image.
  • Alternatively, projector control circuitry 806 may cause a first image that provides a view of certain subject matter from one perspective to be imposed on first light 832 and a second image that provides a view of the same subject matter from a different perspective to be imposed on second light 842 at approximately the same time. In this case, first filtered light 836 will carry the first image and second filtered light 846 will carry the second image. First parallax barrier 816 operates to pass only a portion of the first image while second parallax barrier 826 operates to pass only a portion of the second image. Due to the interaction of first projected light 838 with a lenticular lens and reflective panel of a projection screen (e.g., projection screen 704), the portion of the first image will be directed to one eye of a viewer. Due to interaction of second projected light 848 with the lenticular lens and reflective panel of the projection screen, the portion of the second image will be directed to the other eye of the viewer. These portions will be combined in the mind of a viewer as a three-dimensional image.
  • Thus, by controlling the image content that is imposed on first light 832 by first image generator 814 and the image content that is imposed on second light 842 by second image generator 824, projector control circuitry 806 can operate to cause a viewer to perceive a particular two-dimensional or three-dimensional image. It is to be understood that the image may comprise a persistent still image or one of a series of images that together comprise a video stream.
  • In a further example, projector control circuitry 806 may impose image content comprising more than two views of the same subject matter from different perspectives on each of first light 832 and second light 842 (e.g., two, four, or eight views of the same subject matter from different perspectives) thereby enabling the simultaneous display of multiple three-dimensional images, wherein the position of a viewer dictates which of the multiple three-dimensional images is currently perceived.
  • As described above, projector 800 includes two parallax barriers for filtering image content to be projected by projection assemblies 802 and 804, respectively. This may be deemed necessary because lenticular lens 824 of screen 804 does not perform a light-blocking function such as that performed by parallax barrier 124 of projection screen 104. Thus, the parallax barriers in projector 800 may be used to ensure that first projected light 838 and second projected light 848 can be thrown onto the same screen in a manner that minimizes or avoids image overlap. However, it is important to note that projector 800 can also be used with a screen that includes a parallax barrier rather than a lenticular lens (such as screen 104), in order to provide projector-based control over placement of the projected images on the screen. Thus, projector 800 can also be used with screen 104 of projection system 100.
  • In certain embodiments of projector 800, first parallax barrier 816 and first second parallax barrier 826 are disposed in a fixed location within their respective projection assemblies and the dimensions of the blocking elements of each parallax barrier and the spacing there between is also fixed. In alternate embodiments of projector 800, various aspects of first parallax barrier 816 and/or second parallax barrier 826 may be modified responsive to signals from projector control circuitry 806. Such modifiable aspects may include but are not limited to a distance between a parallax barrier and an image generator, a distance between a parallax barrier and a lens assembly, an orientation of the parallax barrier with respect to the image generator or lens assembly, the dimensions of one or more blocking elements of a parallax barrier, the spacing between blocking elements of a parallax barrier, and whether the parallax barrier is “on” or “off” (whether it performs a light blocking function at all). Various example implementations of adaptable parallax barriers are further described in commonly-owned, co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/845,409, filed on Jul. 28, 2010, and entitled “Display with Adaptable Parallax Barrier,” the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • The use of adaptable parallax barriers may be deemed desirable in order to “fine tune” the manner in which images are projected by first projection assembly 802 and second projection assembly 804 onto a corresponding projection screen (e.g., projection screen 104 of FIG. 1 or projection screen 704 of FIG. 7). Such fine tuning may be performed, for example, in order to calibrate projector 802 for optimal performance with a given projection screen installation. Such fine tuning may also be performed to account for a changing location and/or head orientation of one or more viewers. Projector control circuitry 806 may be made aware of the location and/or head orientation of one or more viewers through input received from a system or device suitably configured to track such information. Such systems and devices may utilize, for example, different types of sensors (e.g., cameras, motion sensors, microphones or the like) or technology that wirelessly tracks an object (e.g., headset, remote control, or the like) currently being held or worn by a viewer.
  • In one embodiment, the projector includes two projection assemblies each of which includes an adaptable parallax barrier and the projection screen includes an adaptable light manipulator (e.g., an adaptable parallax barrier or lenticular lens). Communication between the projector and the projection screen facilitates synchronization between the adaptable parallax barriers in the projection assemblies and the adaptable light manipulator at the screen to obtain an optimal or desired viewing configuration.
  • FIG. 9 is a block diagram of an example projection system 900 in accordance with such an embodiment. As shown in FIG. 9, projection system 900 includes a projector 902 and a projection screen 904.
  • Projector 902 includes a first projection assembly 912, a second projection assembly 914 and projector control circuitry 916. Projector control circuitry 916 controls first projector assembly 912 to produce first projected light for projection onto projection screen 904. Projector control circuitry 916 further controls second projector assembly 914 to produce second projected light for projection onto projection screen 904. The first projected light includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and the second projected light includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by the viewer it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • First projection assembly 912 includes a first light source 922, a first image generator 924, a first adaptable parallax barrier 926 and a first lens assembly 928. Each of these components may be implemented in a like manner to first light source 812, first image generator 814, first parallax barrier 816 and first lens assembly 818, respectively, as previously described in reference to FIG. 8. In accordance with this embodiment, a state of first adaptable parallax barrier 926 can be modified based on control signals from projector control circuitry 916. Such modification of state may include, for example and without limitation, modifying one or more of a distance between first adaptable parallax barrier 926 and first image generator 924, a distance between first adaptable parallax barrier 926 and first lens assembly 928, an orientation of first adaptable parallax barrier 926 with respect to first image generator 924 or first lens assembly 928, the dimensions of one or more blocking elements of first adaptable parallax barrier 926, and the spacing between blocking elements of first adaptable parallax barrier 926. Such modification of state may also include turning first adaptable parallax barrier 926 on or off
  • Second projection assembly 914 includes a second light source 932, a second image generator 934, a second adaptable parallax barrier 936 and a second lens assembly 938. Each of these components may be implemented in a like manner to first light source 922, first image generator 924, first adaptable parallax barrier 926 and first lens assembly 928, as previously described. Accordingly, a state of second adaptable parallax barrier 936 can be modified based on control signals from projector control circuitry 916. Such modification of state may include, for example and without limitation, modifying one or more of a distance between first adaptable parallax barrier 936 and second image generator 934, a distance between second adaptable parallax barrier 936 and second lens assembly 938, an orientation of second adaptable parallax barrier 936 with respect to second image generator 934 or second lens assembly 938, the dimensions of one or more blocking elements of second adaptable parallax barrier 936, and the spacing between blocking elements of second adaptable parallax barrier 936. Such modification of state may also include turning second adaptable parallax barrier 936 on or off
  • As further shown in FIG. 9, projector 902 includes a communication interface 940 that is connected to projector control circuitry 916. Communication interface 940 comprises a wired or wireless interface that enables signals to be sent to and/or received from a corresponding communication interface 950 within projection screen 904.
  • In addition to communication interface 950, projection screen 904 also includes a reflective panel 956, an adaptable light manipulator 954, and adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952. Reflective panel 956 may comprise a sheet of white, silver or grey fabric, a painted wall, or any other element or structure having a surface that is suitable for diffusively reflecting light projected thereon. Adaptable light manipulator 954 may comprise, for example, an adaptable parallax barrier or an adaptable lenticular lens. Adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952 is connected to adaptable light manipulator 954 and is operable to modify a state thereof.
  • In an embodiment in which adaptable light manipulator 954 comprises an adaptable parallax barrier, modifying the state thereof may comprise, for example and without limitation, modifying one or more of a distance between the adaptable parallax barrier and panel 956, an orientation of the adaptable parallax barrier with respect to panel 956, the dimensions of one or more blocking elements of the adaptable parallax barrier, and the spacing between blocking elements of the adaptable parallax barrier. Such modification of state may also include turning the adaptable parallax barrier on or off. As noted above, various example implementations of adaptable parallax barriers are further described in aforementioned, incorporated U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/845,409, filed on Jul. 28, 2010, and entitled “Display with Adaptable Parallax Barrier.”
  • In an embodiment in which adaptable light manipulator 954 comprises an adaptable lenticular lens, modifying the state thereof may comprise, for example and without limitation, modifying a degree of stretching of the lenticular lens and/or inserting or removing (e.g., rolling up) the lenticular lens from in front of panel 956. Various example implementations of adaptable lenticular lenses are further described in commonly-owned, co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/774,307, filed on May 5, 2010, and entitled “Display with Elastic Light Manipulator,” the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • Projector control circuitry 916 is capable of communicating with adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952 via the communication link formed by communication interfaces 940 and 950. In an embodiment, such communication is used to synchronize the states of first and second adaptable parallax barriers 926 and 936 in projector 902 with the state of adaptable light manipulator 954 of projection screen 904 to obtain a desired viewing configuration. For example, in one embodiment, projector control circuitry 916 receives information from adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952 and modifies the state of first adaptable parallax barrier 926 and second parallax barrier 936 based on such information to achieve a desired viewing configuration. The received information may include, for example, information concerning the state of adaptable light manipulator 954 or information concerning a desired viewing configuration. As another example, in another embodiment, adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952 receives information from projector control circuitry 916 and modifies the state of adaptable light manipulator 954 based on such information to achieve a desired viewing configuration. The received information may include, for example, information concerning the state of one or both of first and second adaptable parallax barriers 926 and 936 or information concerning a desired viewing configuration. A desired viewing configuration may be determined by projector control circuitry 916 and/or adaptable light manipulator control circuitry 952 based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to input provided by a viewer, information concerning a location and/or head orientation of one or more viewers, information concerning the image content to be displayed, or the like.
  • Example projectors 800 and 902 depicted in FIGS. 8 and 9, respectively, are shown as having two projection assemblies, each of which includes its own light source. However, in accordance with alternate implementations, the two projection assemblies may share a single light source (in a like manner to that shown in FIG. 5). Still other configurations may be used.
  • Furthermore, all of the embodiments described in this section included two projection assemblies. However, in alternative embodiments, more than two projection assemblies may be used to project image content onto a projection screen (such as projection screen 104 of FIG. 1 or projection screen 704 of FIG. 7) in order to support the viewing of two-dimensional or three-dimensional images. For example, four projection assemblies may be used to project four different perspective views of the same subject matter onto a projection screen, thereby facilitating the simultaneous viewing of multiple three-dimensional images.
  • Additionally, each of the embodiments described in this section show a single projector that includes two projection assemblies. However, in alternate embodiments, multiple projectors each having one or more projection assemblies may be used to implement a projection system that facilitates two-dimensional and three-dimensional viewing.
  • FIG. 10 depicts a flowchart 1000 of a method used by a projection system to visually present a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image to a viewer in accordance with certain embodiments. The method of flowchart 1000 may be performed, for example, by projection system 100 as described above in reference to FIG. 1, by projection system 700 as described above in reference to FIG. 7, or by projection system 900 as described above in reference to FIG. 9. However, the method is not limited to those embodiments and may be practiced by other systems or components entirely.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, the method of flowchart 1000 begins at step 1002 during which a first projection assembly at least assists in projecting first light. This step may be performed, for example, by first projection assembly 112 of FIG. 1 which projects first light 132 in a manner previously described. This step may also be performed, for example, by first projection assembly 712 of FIG. 7 which projects first light 732 in a manner previously described. This step may further be performed by first projection assembly 912 of FIG. 9. Various techniques by which such a first projection assembly may project first light were described above in reference to at least the example projector embodiments of FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
  • At step 1004, a second projection assembly at least assists in projecting second light. This step may be performed, for example, by second projection assembly 114 of FIG. 1 which projects second light 134 in a manner previously described. This step may also be performed, for example, by second projection assembly 714 of FIG. 7 which projects second light 734 in a manner previously described. This step may further be performed by second projection assembly 914 of FIG. 9. Various techniques by which such a second projection assembly can project second light were described above in reference to at least the example projector embodiments of FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
  • In one embodiment, steps 1002 and 1004 are performed concurrently, such that the first light and the second light are projected at the same time. To visually present a two-dimensional image, the first light and the second light respectively projected during steps 1002 and 1004 may each represent the same two-dimensional image, or at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. To visually present a three-dimensional image, the first light projected during step 1002 may represent at least a first image and the second light projected during step 1004 may represent at least a second image, wherein the first and second images correspond to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image.
  • At step 1006, a projection screen including a light manipulator causes at least a portion of the first light to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer. This step may be performed, for example, by reflective panel 122 and parallax barrier 124 of projection screen 104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of first light 132 to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer, such as viewer 106. This step may also be performed, for example, by reflective panel 722 and lenticular lens 724 of projection screen 704 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of first light 732 to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer, such as viewer 706. This step may further be performed by reflective panel 956 and adaptable light manipulator 954 of projection screen 904. Various details concerning the manner by which these elements operate to cause at least a portion of first light to be reflected to one eye of a viewer were previously described.
  • At step 1008, the projection screen including the light manipulator causes at least a portion of the second light to be reflected to a left eye of the viewer. This step may be performed, for example, by reflective panel 122 and parallax barrier 124 of projection screen 104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of second light 134 to be reflected to a left eye of a viewer, such as viewer 106. This step may also be performed, for example, by reflective panel 722 and lenticular lens 724 of projection screen 704 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of second light 734 to be reflected to a left eye of a viewer, such as viewer 706. This step may further be performed by reflective panel 956 and adaptable light manipulator 954 of projection screen 904. Various details concerning the manner by which these elements operate to cause at least a portion of second light to be reflected to one eye of a viewer were previously described.
  • The portion of the first light that is reflected to the right eye of the viewer during step 1006 will be referred to as “first image content” and the portion of the second light that is reflected to the left eye of the viewer during step 1008 will be referred to as “second image content.” By controlling the first and second image content, a projection system in accordance with an embodiment (e.g., projection system 100 of FIG. 1, projection system 700 of FIG. 7, or projection system 900 of FIG. 9) can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by a viewer. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of a viewer to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of a viewer to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • B. Example 2D/3D Projection Systems that use a Combined Projection Screen/Light Manipulator and Projector with One Projection Assembly
  • FIG. 11 is a diagram of an example projection system 1100 that utilizes a combined projection screen/light manipulator and a projector having a single projection assembly to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with one embodiment. As shown in FIG. 11, projection system 1100 includes a projector 1102, a projection screen 1104, and glasses 1108 that are worn by a viewer, such as viewer 1106. Projection system 1100 is intended to represent a front-projection system. In accordance with a front-projection system, viewers are located on a same side of projection screen 1104 as projector 1102.
  • Projector 1102 includes a single projection assembly 1112. Projection assembly 1112 is operable to project first light 1132 toward projection screen 1104 during a first time interval and to project second light 1134 toward projection screen 1104 during a second time interval that immediately follows the first time interval. As shown in FIG. 11, projection assembly 1112 is moveable such that it may automatically be placed in at least a first orientation for projecting first light 1132 onto projection screen 1104 and in at least a second orientation for projection second light 1134 onto projection screen 1104, wherein the first and second orientations are different. This aspect of projection assembly 1112 can be used to project first light 1132 and second light 1134 at projection screen 1104 at different angles so as to achieve a desired viewing effect.
  • In a two-dimensional viewing mode, first light 1132 and second light 1134 may each represent the same two-dimensional image, or at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. In a three-dimensional viewing mode, first light 1132 may represent at least a first image and second light 1134 may represent at least a second image, the first and second images corresponding to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image. The manner in which projector 1102 operates to generate and project first light 1132 and second light 1134 will be described in more detail below.
  • Projection screen 1104 comprises a combination of a reflective panel 1122 and a light manipulator 1124. Light manipulator 1124 may comprise, for example, a parallax barrier or a lenticular lens. Depending upon the implementation, light manipulator 1124 may comprise a fixed light manipulator or an adaptable light manipulator. By way of example only, projection screen 1104 may comprise any of projection screen 104, projection screen 704, or projection screen 904 as described above in reference to FIGS. 1, 7 and 9 respectively.
  • Light manipulator 1124 and reflective panel 1122 operate in a combined fashion so that first light 1132, or a particular portion thereof, is substantially directed to a right eye of viewer 1106 during the first time interval. Light manipulator 1124 and reflective panel 1122 also operate in a combined fashion so that second light 1134, or a particular portion thereof, is substantially directed to only a left eye of viewer 1106 during the second time interval. The manner by which a light manipulator, such as a parallax barrier or lenticular lens, can be operated in a combined fashion with a reflective panel to selectively deliver image content to a particular eye of a viewer was discussed in the preceding section and thus will not be repeated here for the sake of brevity.
  • Glasses 1108 worn by viewer 1106 comprise shutter glasses having a right lens 1152 and a left lens 1154. Glasses 1108 are synchronized with projector 1102 such that right lens 1152 passes light during the first time interval and blocks light during the second time interval and such that left lens 1154 blocks light during the first time interval and passes light during the second time interval. Consequently, during the first time interval, the right eye of viewer 1106 will be capable of seeing the portion of first light 1132 directed thereto by projection screen 1104 while the left eye of viewer 1106 is blocked. Furthermore, during the second time interval, the left eye of viewer 1106 will be capable of seeing the portion of second light 1134 directed thereto by projection screen 1104 while the right eye is blocked.
  • The first and second time intervals are short enough to allow the mind of viewer 1106 to merge the image perceived by the right eye during the first time interval with the image perceived by the left eye during the second time interval into a single perceived image. For ease of explanation, the image content of first light 1132 that is directed to the right eye of viewer 1106 during the first time interval will be referred to as “first image content” and the image content of second light 1134 that is directed to the left eye of viewer 1106 during the second time interval will be referred to as “second image content.” By controlling the first and second image content, system 1100 can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by viewer 1106. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 1106 to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 1106 to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • One aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer during the first and second time intervals involves controlling how light generated by a light source within projector 1102 is filtered to generate first light 1132 and second light 1134. Various techniques for performing such filtering will be described below in reference to particular implementations of projector 1102.
  • Another aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer during the first and second time intervals involves taking into account and/or modifying the arrangement of panel 1122 and light manipulator 1124. In certain embodiments, the state of light manipulator 1124 and its arrangement with respect to panel 1122 is fixed. In alternate embodiments, the state of light manipulator 1124 and/or its arrangement with respect to panel 1122 can be modified. Such modification may be achieved in a like manner to example projection screen 904 as described above in reference to FIG. 9.
  • A further aspect of controlling the first image content and the second image content that reaches the eyes of a viewer during the first and second time intervals involves controlling the distance between projection assembly 1112 and projection screen 1104, as well as the angles at which light is projected by projection assembly 1112 toward projection screen 1104. One manner of implementing such control is to mount or place projector 1102 in a suitable location relative to projection screen 1104. Another manner of implementing such control involves permitting a user to adjust certain aspects of projection assembly 1112 (e.g., horizontal, vertical or diagonal shifting of projection assembly 1112, pan and tilt modifications to the orientation of projection assembly 1112, and modification of a zoom level of a lens assembly associated with projection assembly 1112) in embodiments that support such features.
  • FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a projector 1200 that utilizes a single projection assembly to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an embodiment. Projector 1200 comprises one example implementation of projector 1102 of FIG. 11. Projector 1200 may be used in an embodiment in which light manipulator 1144 of projection screen 1104 comprises a parallax barrier. As shown in FIG. 12, projector 1200 includes a projection assembly 1202 and projector control circuitry 1204 connected thereto.
  • Projector control circuitry 1204 controls projector assembly 1202 to produce first projected light 1132 for projection onto projection screen 1104 during a first time interval. Projector control circuitry 1204 further controls projector assembly 1202 to produce second projected light 1134 for projection onto projection screen 1104 during a second time interval that immediately follows the first time interval. As discussed above, first projected light 1132 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 1134 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by a viewer wearing shuttering glasses, such as viewer 1106 wearing glasses 1108, it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • As further shown in FIG. 12, projection assembly 1202 includes a light source 1212, an image generator 1214 and a lens assembly 1216. Light source 1212 operates to produce light. Depending upon the implementation, light source 1212 may comprise, for example and without limitation, one or more lamps, an array of LEDs, an array of laser diodes, or a hybrid light source based on both LED and laser diodes. Still other types of light sources may be used.
  • Image generator 1214 receives the light generated by light source 1212 and filters such light to impose first image content thereon during the first time interval and to impose second image content thereon during the second time interval, thereby producing filtered light. Various types of technology may be utilized to implement image generator 1214 including but not limited to LCD projection technology, DLP projection technology, or LCoS projection technology. Still other types of technology may be used to implement image generator 1214.
  • Lens assembly 1216 receives the filtered light generated by image generator 1214 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 1132 during the first time interval and second projected light 1134 during the second time interval. Depending upon the implementation, lens assembly 1216 may comprise one or more lenses, and may be implemented as a fixed lens, zoom lens, wide angle lens, or the like.
  • Projector control circuitry 1204 operates to control the first image content that is imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the first time interval and the second image content that is imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the second time interval. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 1200.
  • By way of example, projector control circuitry 1204 may cause the same two-dimensional image to be imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the first time interval as is imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the second time interval. Consequently, first projected light 1132 and second projected light 1134 will comprise a projection of the same two-dimensional image and the viewer will perceive a two-dimensional image formed from reflected portions of first projected light 1132 and second projected light 1134. Alternatively, projector control circuitry 1204 may cause a first image that provides a view of certain subject matter from one perspective to be imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the first time interval and a second image that provides a view of the same subject matter from a different perspective to be imposed on the light produced by light source 1212 during the second time interval. In this case, first projected light 1132 will comprise a projection of the first image, second projected light 1134 will comprise a projection of the second image, and the viewer will perceive a three-dimensional image formed from reflected portions of first projected light 1132 and second projected light 1134.
  • FIG. 13 is a block diagram of a projector 1300 that utilizes a single projection assembly to facilitate the viewing of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in accordance with an alternate embodiment. Projector 1300 comprises another example implementation of projector 1102 of FIG. 11. Projector 1300 may be used in an embodiment in which light manipulator 1144 of projection screen 1104 comprises either a lenticular lens or a parallax barrier. As shown in FIG. 13, projector 1300 includes a projection assembly 1302 and projector control circuitry 1304 connected thereto.
  • Projector control circuitry 1304 controls projector assembly 1302 to produce first projected light 1132 for projection onto projection screen 1104 during a first time interval. Projector control circuitry 1304 further controls projector assembly 1302 to produce second projected light 1134 for projection onto projection screen 1104 during a second time interval that immediately follows the first time interval. As discussed above, first projected light 1132 includes at least first image content that is intended for one eye of a viewer and second projected light 1134 includes at least second image content that is intended for the other eye of the viewer. Depending upon the nature of the first image content and second image content, when such image content is perceived by a viewer wearing shuttering glasses, such as viewer 1106 wearing glasses 1108, it may be perceived as either a two-dimensional image or a three-dimensional image.
  • As further shown in FIG. 13, projection assembly 1302 includes a light source 1312, an image generator 1314, an adaptable parallax barrier 1316, and a lens assembly 1318. Light source 1312 operates to produce light and may be implemented in a like manner to light source 1212 as described above in reference to FIG. 12.
  • Image generator 1314 receives light 1332 generated by light source 1312 and filters such light to impose first image content thereon during the first time interval and to impose second image content thereon during the second time interval, thereby producing filtered light 1334. Image generator 1314 may be implemented in a like manner to image generator 1214 as described above in reference to FIG. 12.
  • Adaptable parallax barrier 1316 receives filtered light 1334 generated by image generator 1314 and manipulates such light to produce manipulated light 1336. Adaptable parallax barrier 1316 is placed in a first state by projector control circuitry 1304 during the first time interval to pass only first portions of filtered light 1334 to lens assembly 1318 and is placed in a second state by projector control circuitry 1304 during the second time interval to pass only second portions of filtered light 1334 to lens assembly 1318.
  • Lens assembly 1318 receives manipulated light 1336 produced by adaptable parallax barrier 1316 and operates to spread such light outward, thereby generating first projected light 1132 during the first time interval and second projected light 1134 during the second time interval. Lens assembly 1318 may be implemented in a like manner to lens assembly 1216 as described above in reference to FIG. 12.
  • Projector control circuitry 1304 operates to control the first image content that is imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the first time interval and the second image content that is imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the second time interval. Such image content may be received or derived from an image content source that is connected to projector 1300. By way of example, projector control circuitry 1306 may cause the same two-dimensional image to be imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the first time interval as is imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the second time interval. Consequently, filtered light 1334 will carry the same two-dimensional image during the first time interval and the second time interval. Adaptable parallax barrier 1336 operates to pass only a first portion of this two-dimensional image during the first time interval and to pass only a second portion of this two-dimensional image during the second time interval. Due to the interaction of first projected light 1132 with a light manipulator and reflective panel of a projection screen (e.g., projection screen 1104), the first portion of the two-dimensional image will be directed to one eye of a viewer during the first time interval. Due to interaction of second projected light 1134 with the light manipulator and reflective panel of the projection screen, the second portion of the two-dimensional image will be directed to the other eye of the viewer during the second time interval. These portions will be combined in the mind of a viewer as a two-dimensional image.
  • Alternatively, projector control circuitry 1304 may cause a first image that provides a view of certain subject matter from one perspective to be imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the first time interval and a second image that provides a view of the same subject matter from a different perspective to be imposed on light 1332 produced by light source 1312 during the second time interval. In this case, filtered light 1334 will carry the first image during the first time interval and the second image during the second time interval. Adaptable parallax barrier 1316 operates to pass only a portion of the first image during the first time interval and to pass only a portion of the second image during the second time interval. Due to the interaction of first projected light 1132 with a light manipulator and reflective panel of a projection screen (e.g., projection screen 1104), the portion of the first image will be directed to one eye of a viewer. Due to interaction of second projected light 1134 with the light manipulator and reflective panel of the projection screen, the portion of the second image will be directed to the other eye of the viewer. These portions will be combined in the mind of a viewer as a three-dimensional image.
  • FIG. 14 depicts a flowchart 1400 of an alternate method used by a projection system to visually present a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image to a viewer in accordance with certain embodiments. The method of flowchart 1400 may be performed, for example, by projection system 100 as described above in reference to FIG. 1, by projection system 700 as described above in reference to FIG. 7, by projection system 900 as described above in reference to FIG. 9 or by projection system 1100 as described above in reference to FIG. 11. However, the method is not limited to those embodiments and may be practiced by other systems or components entirely.
  • As shown in FIG. 14, the method of flowchart 1400 begins at step 1402 during which first light is projected toward a first projection screen in accordance with a first orientation. This step may be performed, for example, by first projection assembly 112 of FIG. 1 which may project first light 132 onto projection screen 104 in accordance with a first orientation. This step may also be performed, for example, by first projection assembly 712 of FIG. 7 or first projection assembly 912 of FIG. 9. Additionally, this step may be performed by projection assembly 1112 of FIG. 11 which may project first light 1132 onto projection screen 1104 in accordance with a first orientation.
  • At step 1404, second light is projected toward the projection screen in accordance with a second orientation. This step may be performed, for example, by first projection assembly 112 of FIG. 1 which may project second light 134 onto projection screen 104 in accordance with a second orientation. This step may also be performed, for example, by second projection assembly 714 of FIG. 7 or second projection assembly 914 of FIG. 9. Additionally, this step may be performed by projection assembly 1112 of FIG. 11 which may project second light 1134 onto projection screen 1104 in accordance with a second orientation.
  • In certain embodiments involving projectors having multiple projection assemblies, steps 1402 and 1404 are performed concurrently, such that the first light and the second light are projected at the same time. In certain alternate embodiments involving projectors having only a single projection assembly, steps 1402 and 1404 are performed during different but consecutive time intervals. To visually present a two-dimensional image, the first light and the second light respectively projected during steps 1402 and 1404 may each represent the same two-dimensional image, or at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. To visually present a three-dimensional image, the first light projected during step 1402 may represent at least a first image and the second light projected during step 1404 may represent at least a second image, wherein the first and second images correspond to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image.
  • At step 1406, a projection screen including a light manipulator causes at least a portion of the first light to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer. This step may be performed, for example, by reflective panel 122 and parallax barrier 124 of projection screen 104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of first light 132 to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer, such as viewer 106. This step may also be performed, for example, by reflective panel 722 and lenticular lens 724 of projection screen 704 and by reflective panel 956 and adaptable light manipulator 954 of projection screen 904. This step may further be performed, for example, by reflective panel 1122 and parallax barrier 1124 of projection screen 1104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of first light 1132 to be reflected to a right eye of a viewer, such as viewer 1106. Various details concerning the manner by which these elements operate to cause at least a portion of first light to be reflected to one eye of a viewer were previously described.
  • At step 1408, the projection screen including the light manipulator causes at least a portion of the second light to be reflected to a left eye of the viewer. This step may be performed, for example, by reflective panel 122 and parallax barrier 124 of projection screen 104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of second light 134 to be reflected to a left eye of a viewer, such as viewer 106. This step may also be performed, for example, by reflective panel 722 and lenticular lens 724 of projection screen 704 and by reflective panel 956 and adaptable light manipulator 954 of projection screen 904. This step may further be performed, for example, by reflective panel 1122 and parallax barrier 1124 of projection screen 1104 which operate in a combined fashion to cause at least a portion of second light 1134 to be reflected to a left eye of a viewer, such as viewer 1106. Various details concerning the manner by which these elements operate to cause at least a portion of second light to be reflected to one eye of a viewer were previously described.
  • The portion of the first light that is reflected to the right eye of the viewer during step 1406 will be referred to as “first image content” and the portion of the second light that is reflected to the left eye of the viewer during step 1408 will be referred to as “second image content.” By controlling the first and second image content, a projection system in accordance with an embodiment (e.g., projection system 100 of FIG. 1, projection system 700 of FIG. 7, projection system 900 of FIG. 9, or projection system 1100 of FIG. 11) can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by a viewer. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of a viewer to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of a viewer to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • C. Example 2D/3D Rear-Projection Systems
  • The projection systems described above are all forward-projection systems. However, it is conceivable that the same projection systems could be implemented as rear-projection systems by placing the projector behind the projection screen and substituting the reflective panel of the projection screen with a panel that transmits and preferably diffuses light. Any of the projectors described above could then be used to selectively deliver first and second image content to the projection screen and a light manipulator integrated therewith could deliver the first image content to the right eye of a viewer and deliver the second image content to the left eye of a viewer.
  • However, in a rear-projection system in which the light manipulator is on the same side of the projection panel as the viewer, the light projected on the panel will not interact with the light manipulator before reaching the panel. This allows for a simpler design. For example, FIG. 15 is a diagram of an example rear-projection system 1500 that utilizes such a simplified design. As shown in FIG. 15, rear-projection system 1500 includes a projector 1502 having a single projection assembly 1512 and a projection screen 1504 comprising a transmissive panel 1522 and a parallax barrier 1524.
  • First projection assembly 1512 is operable to project light 1532 containing first image content and second image content toward projection screen 1504. In a two-dimensional viewing mode, the first image content and the second image content may each represent the same two-dimensional image, or at least a portion of the same two-dimensional image. In a three-dimensional viewing mode, the first image content may represent at least a first image and second image content may represent at least a second image, the first and second images corresponding to different perspective views of the same subject matter that, when taken together, comprise a single three-dimensional image.
  • The first image content is projected onto first portions of panel 1522. Panel 1522 is transmissive and thus passes (and optionally diffuses) such content. Parallax barrier 1524 is arranged so that light passed by these first portions is substantially directed to only one eye of a viewer 1506. For example, light passed by the first portions may be substantially directed to a right eye of viewer 1506, but not to a left eye of viewer 1506. The second image content is projected onto second portions of panel 1522. Parallax barrier 1524 is arranged so that light passed by these second portions is substantially directed to only the other eye of viewer 1506. For example, light passed by the second portions may be substantially directed to a left eye of viewer 1506, but not to the right eye of viewer 1506.
  • By controlling the first and second image content, system 1500 can selectively enable the viewing of either two-dimensional images or three-dimensional images by viewer 1506. For example, if the first image content comprises a first portion of a view of certain subject matter from a given perspective and the second image content comprises a second portion of the view of the same subject matter from the same perspective, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 1506 to form a two-dimensional image of the subject matter. As another example, if the first image content comprises a view of certain subject matter from a first perspective and the second image content comprises a view of the same subject matter from a second perspective that is different from the first, then the first and second image content can be combined in the mind of viewer 1806 to form a three-dimensional image of the subject matter.
  • Although projection screen 1504 of system 1500 includes parallax barrier 1524 for performing light manipulation, persons skilled in the relevant art(s) will readily appreciate that other types of light manipulators, such as a lenticular lens, may be used to perform the light manipulation function. Furthermore, the light manipulator portion of screen 1504 may be fixed or adaptive depending upon the implementation.
  • IV. CONCLUSION
  • While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. It will be apparent to persons skilled in the relevant art that various changes in form and detail can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims (25)

1. A projection system that assists in delivering a visual presentation of three-dimensional content via a projection screen to a left eye and a right eye of a viewer, the three-dimensional content comprising a first image and a second image, the projection system comprising:
a first projection assembly that at least assists in projecting first light toward the projection screen, the first light representing a first part of the three-dimensional content corresponding to the first image;
a second projection assembly that at least assists in projecting second light toward the projection screen, the second light representing a second part of the three-dimensional content corresponding to the second image;
the first projection assembly at least assisting in projecting the first light at the same time that the second projection assembly at least assists in projecting the second light.
2. The projection system of claim 1, wherein the first projection assembly comprises a first image generator that imposes the first image on first light to generate first filtered light, and a first lens assembly that projects the first filtered light; and
wherein the second projection assembly comprises a second image generator that imposes the second image on second light to generate second filtered light, and a second lens assembly that projects the second filtered light.
3. The projection system of claim 2, wherein the first projection assembly further comprises a first parallax barrier that manipulates the first filtered light prior to projection thereof by the first lens assembly; and
wherein the second projection assembly further comprises a second parallax barrier that manipulates the second filtered light prior to projection thereof by the second lens assembly.
4. The projection system of claim 3, further comprising:
projector control circuitry that modifies a state of the first parallax barrier and a state of the second parallax barrier.
5. The projection system of claim 4, wherein the projector control circuitry modifies the state of the first parallax barrier and the state of the second parallax barrier responsive to information concerning a state of an adaptable light manipulator associated with a projection screen.
6. The projection system of claim 4, wherein the projector control circuitry modifies the state of the first parallax barrier and the state of the second parallax barrier responsive to information concerning a location or head orientation of a viewer.
7. The projection system of claim 1, wherein the first projection assembly comprises a first parallax barrier that receives filtered light that includes both the first image and the second image and that passes only the filtered light that includes the first image to produce first manipulated light, and a first lens assembly that projects the first manipulated light; and
wherein the second projection assembly comprises a second parallax barrier that receives the filtered light that includes both the first image and the second image and passes only the filtered light that includes the second image to produce second manipulated light, and a second lens assembly that projects the second manipulated light.
8. A screen that supports delivery of three-dimensional projection content to a left eye and a right eye of a viewer, the three-dimensional projection content corresponding to both a first image of subject matter from a first perspective and a second image of the subject matter from a second perspective, the screen comprising:
a panel that receives the three-dimensional projection content; and
a light manipulator disposed adjacent to the panel;
the light manipulator directing a first portion of the three-dimensional projection content corresponding to the first image to the left eye of the viewer, and directing a second portion of the three-dimensional projection content corresponding to the second image to the right eye of the viewer.
9. The screen of claim 8, wherein the panel comprises a reflective panel for use with a forward-projection system.
10. The screen of claim 8, wherein the panel comprises a transmissive panel for use with a rear-projection system.
11. The screen of claim 8, wherein the light manipulator comprises a parallax barrier.
12. The screen of claim 8, wherein the light manipulator comprises a lenticular lens.
13. The screen of claim 8, further comprising control circuitry that modifies a state of the light manipulator.
14. A method used by a projection system to visually present three-dimensional video data via a projection screen to a left eye and a right eye of a viewer, the three-dimensional video data corresponding to both first video capture from a first perspective and second video capture from a second perspective, the method comprising:
projecting first light toward the projection screen in accordance with a first orientation, the first light representing a first part of the three-dimensional video data corresponding to the first video capture from the first perspective; and
projecting second light toward the projection screen in accordance with a second orientation, the second light representing a second part of the three-dimensional video data corresponding to the second video capture from the second perspective, the second orientation being different from that of the first orientation.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein projecting the first light toward the projection screen in accordance with the first orientation comprises projecting the first light by a first projection assembly; and
wherein projecting the second light toward the projection screen in accordance with the second orientation comprises projecting the second light by a second projection assembly; and
wherein the first light and the second light are projected concurrently.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein projecting the first light toward the projection screen in accordance with the first orientation comprises projecting the first light by a projection assembly during a first time interval; and
wherein projecting the second light toward the projection screen in accordance with the second orientation comprises projecting the second light by the projection assembly during a second time interval.
17. The method of claim 14, further comprising redirecting the first light toward the left eye of the viewer.
18. A projection system, comprising:
a projection unit comprising
a first projection assembly that projects a first image, and
a second projection assembly that projects a second image; and
a projection screen comprising
a reflective surface upon which at least a portion of the first image and at least a portion of the second image are projected, and
a light manipulator disposed adjacent to the reflective surface, the light manipulator operable to manipulate reflected light produced by the projection of the at least a portion of the first image and the at least a portion of the second image on the reflective surface to produce a left-eye image and a right-eye image, the left-eye and right-eye images forming a three-dimensional image when perceived by a respective left eye and right eye of a viewer.
19. The projection system of claim 18, wherein the light manipulator comprises a lenticular lens.
20. The projection system of claim 18, wherein the light manipulator comprises a parallax barrier.
21. The projection system of claim 18, wherein the projection unit further comprises:
a first parallax barrier that filters the first image projected by the first projection assembly; and
a second parallax barrier that filters the second image projected by the second projection assembly.
22. A projection system, comprising:
a projection unit comprising a projection assembly that alternately projects left-eye images and right-eye images; and
a projection screen comprising
a reflective surface upon which the left-eye images and the right-eye images are alternately projected, and
a light manipulator disposed adjacent to the reflective surface, the light manipulator operable to manipulate reflected light produced by the projection of the left-eye images to produce manipulated left-eye images and to manipulate reflected light produced by the projection of the right-eye images to produce manipulated right-eye images, the manipulated left-eye images and manipulated right-eye images forming three-dimensional images when perceived by a respective left eye and right eye of a viewer wearing shutter glasses.
23. The projection system of claim 22, wherein the light manipulator comprises a lenticular lens.
24. The projection system of claim 22, wherein the light manipulator comprises a parallax barrier.
25. The projection system of claim 22, wherein the projection assembly comprises:
an image generating element that produces images; and
an adaptable parallax barrier that filters the images produced by the image generating element, the adaptable parallax barrier comprising an array of barrier elements that may be selectively placed in a blocking or non-blocking state, the state of the barrier elements being controlled to produce at least a first parallax barrier configuration that filters images generated by the image generating element to produce the left-eye images and a second parallax barrier configuration that filters images generated by the image generating element to produce the right-eye images.
US12/982,047 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 2d/3d projection system Abandoned US20110157330A1 (en)

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US30311910P true 2010-02-10 2010-02-10
US12/982,047 US20110157330A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 2d/3d projection system

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US12/774,225 Abandoned US20110157322A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-05-05 Controlling a pixel array to support an adaptable light manipulator
US12/774,307 Active 2032-01-14 US8964013B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-05-05 Display with elastic light manipulator
US12/845,461 Active 2031-10-30 US8767050B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Display supporting multiple simultaneous 3D views
US12/845,440 Abandoned US20110157697A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Adaptable parallax barrier supporting mixed 2d and stereoscopic 3d display regions
US12/845,409 Abandoned US20110157696A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Display with adaptable parallax barrier
US12/982,124 Active 2033-02-08 US9124885B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Operating system supporting mixed 2D, stereoscopic 3D and multi-view 3D displays
US12/982,031 Active 2032-12-14 US9019263B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Coordinated driving of adaptable light manipulator, backlighting and pixel array in support of adaptable 2D and 3D displays
US12/982,053 Abandoned US20110157309A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Hierarchical video compression supporting selective delivery of two-dimensional and three-dimensional video content
US12/982,309 Active 2033-05-02 US9204138B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 User controlled regional display of mixed two and three dimensional content
US12/982,156 Active 2035-11-09 US9654767B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Programming architecture supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,199 Active 2032-09-27 US8988506B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Transcoder supporting selective delivery of 2D, stereoscopic 3D, and multi-view 3D content from source video
US12/982,047 Abandoned US20110157330A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 2d/3d projection system
US12/982,212 Active 2032-04-05 US9013546B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Adaptable media stream servicing two and three dimensional content
US12/982,377 Abandoned US20110157327A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 3d audio delivery accompanying 3d display supported by viewer/listener position and orientation tracking
US12/982,173 Active 2033-08-22 US9143770B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Application programming interface supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,020 Abandoned US20110157257A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Backlighting array supporting adaptable parallax barrier
US12/982,248 Abandoned US20110157315A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Interpolation of three-dimensional video content
US12/982,362 Active 2031-02-05 US9049440B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Independent viewer tailoring of same media source content via a common 2D-3D display
US12/982,140 Abandoned US20110161843A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Internet browser and associated content definition supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,088 Active 2032-01-06 US9066092B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Communication infrastructure including simultaneous video pathways for multi-viewer support
US12/982,330 Abandoned US20110157326A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Multi-path and multi-source 3d content storage, retrieval, and delivery
US12/982,062 Active 2032-06-13 US8687042B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Set-top box circuitry supporting 2D and 3D content reductions to accommodate viewing environment constraints
US12/982,069 Active 2033-05-07 US8922545B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Three-dimensional display system with adaptation based on viewing reference of viewer(s)
US12/982,273 Active 2032-08-13 US9979954B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Eyewear with time shared viewing supporting delivery of differing content to multiple viewers
US14/504,095 Abandoned US20150015668A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2014-10-01 Three-dimensional display system with adaptation based on viewing reference of viewer(s)
US14/616,130 Abandoned US20150156473A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2015-02-06 Transcoder supporting selective delivery of 2d, stereoscopic 3d, and multi-view 3d content from source video
US14/723,922 Abandoned US20150264341A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2015-05-28 Communication infrastructure including simultaneous video pathways for multi-viewer support

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US12/774,225 Abandoned US20110157322A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-05-05 Controlling a pixel array to support an adaptable light manipulator
US12/774,307 Active 2032-01-14 US8964013B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-05-05 Display with elastic light manipulator
US12/845,461 Active 2031-10-30 US8767050B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Display supporting multiple simultaneous 3D views
US12/845,440 Abandoned US20110157697A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Adaptable parallax barrier supporting mixed 2d and stereoscopic 3d display regions
US12/845,409 Abandoned US20110157696A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-07-28 Display with adaptable parallax barrier
US12/982,124 Active 2033-02-08 US9124885B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Operating system supporting mixed 2D, stereoscopic 3D and multi-view 3D displays
US12/982,031 Active 2032-12-14 US9019263B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Coordinated driving of adaptable light manipulator, backlighting and pixel array in support of adaptable 2D and 3D displays
US12/982,053 Abandoned US20110157309A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Hierarchical video compression supporting selective delivery of two-dimensional and three-dimensional video content
US12/982,309 Active 2033-05-02 US9204138B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 User controlled regional display of mixed two and three dimensional content
US12/982,156 Active 2035-11-09 US9654767B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Programming architecture supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,199 Active 2032-09-27 US8988506B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Transcoder supporting selective delivery of 2D, stereoscopic 3D, and multi-view 3D content from source video

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US12/982,212 Active 2032-04-05 US9013546B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Adaptable media stream servicing two and three dimensional content
US12/982,377 Abandoned US20110157327A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 3d audio delivery accompanying 3d display supported by viewer/listener position and orientation tracking
US12/982,173 Active 2033-08-22 US9143770B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Application programming interface supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,020 Abandoned US20110157257A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Backlighting array supporting adaptable parallax barrier
US12/982,248 Abandoned US20110157315A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Interpolation of three-dimensional video content
US12/982,362 Active 2031-02-05 US9049440B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Independent viewer tailoring of same media source content via a common 2D-3D display
US12/982,140 Abandoned US20110161843A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Internet browser and associated content definition supporting mixed two and three dimensional displays
US12/982,088 Active 2032-01-06 US9066092B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Communication infrastructure including simultaneous video pathways for multi-viewer support
US12/982,330 Abandoned US20110157326A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Multi-path and multi-source 3d content storage, retrieval, and delivery
US12/982,062 Active 2032-06-13 US8687042B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Set-top box circuitry supporting 2D and 3D content reductions to accommodate viewing environment constraints
US12/982,069 Active 2033-05-07 US8922545B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Three-dimensional display system with adaptation based on viewing reference of viewer(s)
US12/982,273 Active 2032-08-13 US9979954B2 (en) 2009-12-31 2010-12-30 Eyewear with time shared viewing supporting delivery of differing content to multiple viewers
US14/504,095 Abandoned US20150015668A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2014-10-01 Three-dimensional display system with adaptation based on viewing reference of viewer(s)
US14/616,130 Abandoned US20150156473A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2015-02-06 Transcoder supporting selective delivery of 2d, stereoscopic 3d, and multi-view 3d content from source video
US14/723,922 Abandoned US20150264341A1 (en) 2009-12-31 2015-05-28 Communication infrastructure including simultaneous video pathways for multi-viewer support

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US20110169930A1 (en) 2011-07-14
US9019263B2 (en) 2015-04-28
US20110157264A1 (en) 2011-06-30
US20110164111A1 (en) 2011-07-07
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US20110157168A1 (en) 2011-06-30
US9204138B2 (en) 2015-12-01
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US8988506B2 (en) 2015-03-24
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US9654767B2 (en) 2017-05-16
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US8687042B2 (en) 2014-04-01
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