Sony Makes Peripheral That Adds 3D to Laptop Screen

During the IFA electronics show in Berlin last week, Sony revealed a 3-mm sheet that was placed over the front side of a standard notebook's screen, providing glasses-free 3D imagery. Additional dedicated software took advantage of the laptop's built-in webcam to determine the user's face and adjusted the 3D images accordingly.

According to reports, the 3D sheet/software bundle will be commercially released alongside the launch of Sony's 15.5-inch VAIO VPCSE1Z9E (S Series) laptop over in Europe next month. This could mean that there's a good chance consumers with other non-Sony 15.5-inch laptops will be able to convert to glasses-free 3D as well.

The 3D sheet reportedly measures just under 15.5-inches and is based on the lenticular method: a parallax is created by arraying lenses that are thin and long and have a semicircular cross section. In this case, the 3D images are created by the software based on the viewer's position. Faces can be detected at a distance of 11.8-inches to 39.3-inches from the display, and at an angle of 60 to 120° to the display horizontally.

So far there's no word when the display peripheral will arrive here in the States, or if Sony plans to develop additional sizes. However, the screen is expected to retail for 129 euro (approx $183 USD) when it goes on sale next month in Europe.