OnQ Blog

Glasses-free 3D TV comes into focus thanks to Snapdragon 800 processors

Apr 22, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Whether it’s the reported motion sickness, or the obligatory eyewear, or both—3D TV has had trouble gaining traction with fans of the small screen. But with Stream TV, users can finally ditch the glasses and get a smooth 3D TV experience from anywhere in the room.

Qualcomm Technologies’ licensee, Intrinsyc, recently demonstrated the new Stream TV Networks Ultra-D Glasses-Free 4K displays at the Digital Signage Expo. And they showed that the technology goes beyond just the living room; brands can revolutionize storytelling with digital signage, and breathe new life into the old concept of billboards and train posters.

Intrinsyc’s embedded computing solution, Open-Q 800, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, is designed to bring interactivity and intelligence to these digital displays. Open-Q 800 is a compact, production-ready, System-On-Module (SOM), ideally suited for intelligent devices that require high computing and multimedia performance in a low power small form factor.

The Snapdragon processor’s heterogeneous computing abilities means that Stream TV’s technology can take advantage of extremely superior thermal and power efficiency, vivid 4K Ultra HD video, and a number of other advanced features. For example, the Adreno 330 GPU swiftly generates stunning 3D images and enables cinema-quality noise suppression, frame-rate compensation, image scaling, and color and picture adjustments. Meanwhile, a specialized DSP greatly improves performance by converting analog signals to a digital signal in real time and processes them at a much lower latency than would a CPU. More than anything else, however, Snapdragon processors were the obvious choice for this job because they can handle Ultra-D’s sophisticated real-time conversion algorithms.

Without a doubt, foregoing 3D glasses is a big win, but Ultra-D Glasses-Free technology is fascinating for other reasons too. This technology can convert any source, 2D or 3D, to glasses-free 3D using a mix of the powerful Snapdragon processor, middleware, and software algorithms. And it converts the format in real time. Ultra-D is engineered to convert any kind of content, from cable to streaming video, to the 3D glasses-free format. Using Intrinsyc’s development solutions and the power of the Snapdragon 800, Stream TV was able to move Ultra-D processing from an external converter box to a System-on-Chip platform and allow an “inside the TV” integration.

The technology can adapt to panels of almost any size. An LCD, LED, or OLED display is paired with optical layers to create a 140-degree continuous light front. The firmware directs the panel to operate at a sub-pixel level. Ultra-D Glasses-Free technology is adaptable to tablets, TVs, smartphones and other devices with a display.

This is another example of how Snapdragon processors are spurring innovation beyond the smartphone. Snapdragon in embedded computing is powering everything from medical devices to robots, and now it’s taking on digital signage too.

It took a while, but after years of research and development (and a little help on the processing side) glasses-free 3D TV is finally coming into focus.