May 7, 2009

Zeiss Cinemazer Personal 3D Movies

Ever since Sir Charles Wheatstone invented stereoscopic imaging, way back in 1840, people have been fascinated by 3D imagery. Victorians delighted in stereograms, a forerunner of the View-Master which arrived at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Moving 3D images were first patented by film pioneer William Freise-Greene, though that involved the viewer looking through a stereoscope. This was, in effect, the first personal 3D movie available. It was however entirely impractical for theatrical use. Movies using the anaglyph (red-green) method of representing 3D showed up as early as 1915. But various attempts at marketing 3D movies never quite caught on until the early 50s. Considered the golden era of 3D, the 50s saw a huge surge in 3D movies as colour features were made possible by the Natural Vision process that used polarized filters. Since the 50s 3D movies have continued to be popular, getting a further boost in the 80s when the IMAX movie theatres promoted the format. The Present - Since 2000, the advances in computer animation meant that it was relatively simple to add another camera view and produce 3D animated movies. Open Season, Ant Bully and Monster House were released in 3D, and 2009 promises more than a dozen 3D movies, both animated and live action. Around 20 percent of movie theatres in the US are 3D capable, which means the audience for 3D is bigger than ever. Personal 3D movies - There have been many attempts to bring 3D into the personal consumer realm. Various methods have been employed, including anaglyphic movies on DVD, LCD shuttered glasses, lenticular LCD screens and more. Anaglyphic 3D is not in colour, lenticular screens must be viewed from directly in front of the screen, so the person next to you misses the effect. LCD shuttered glasses work, but involve complex synchronisation with special content. Carl Zeiss had experience of head mounted displays, and came to the conclusion that the best approach would be to use this method to display 3D content. The Carl Zeiss Cinemizer presents a different image to each eye to create the 3D effect. The Cinemizer is a head mounted display with a screen for each eye, and it can take a 2D or 3D source from anywhere, even an iPod. It uses high quality ZEISS optics to make sure the image is pin sharp with a virtual screen size of 45-inches on the diagonal. The Future of 3D Carl Zeiss believes that 3D content will prove to be a big driver for head mounted displays. While five years ago, mobile video was considered a novelty, now public transport is rife with people watching video on iPods, PSPs, iPhones and DVD players. Carl Zeiss is planning to lead the way in 3D and 2D personal video, to bring the same broad acceptance of the technology. Its internal roadmap reaches far into the future, and one day users will be able to enjoy a personal IMAX style, immersive 3D movie. The first Cinemizer products have found a relatively small but enthusiastic audience, which is expected to grow and become more mainstream as the content become more available. Downloadable content from iTunes and other sources makes mobile video more accessible. Carl Zeiss is actively lobbying the movie studios to make 3D content available in a format viewable on the Cinemizer. Consumer created 3D content is likely to become a reality in 2009, with a number of 3D video cameras in development. So 3D home movies are likely to be another source of entertainment for Cinemizer owners.
Technical Data
  • Delivery package: Video eyewear including remote control, battery box, iPod connector, 6 iPod clips, 2 exchangeable nose pads, USB cable (iPod is not included)
  • Diopter adjustment: +3.5 to –3.5, each eye separately adjustable
  • Power supply: Internal battery (rechargeable, lithium-ion); Charging voltage: supply voltage from USB connection or external power pack; Feed via accompanying USB cable (plug type A to plug type mini B); Voltage: 5 V typical, (6V max.); Power consumption:450 mA typical, (500 mA max.)
  • Light source: Class 1 LED
  • Battery life: At least 4 hours with fully charged battery
  • Charging time:2.5 hours on average
  • Housing: Material: TR90 (Polyarylamid); Protection class IP40
  • Weight: Battery box ca. 80 g; Glasses approx. 115 g, Approx. 900 g including packaging and accessories
  • Connections: USB jack type mini to charge the battery, 3.5 mm AV jack (4-pin to connect external video sources, see drawing, cable is not included)
    Pictures (c) Carl Zeiss AG - More information :

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