February 24, 2009 While 3D looks like being the next big thing for home entertainment researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI in Berlin think 3D displays also have a place in the family car and have developed a car dashboard that shows velocities, engine speeds or warnings in three dimensions.
The new 3D cockpit is capable of displaying information as diverse as speed, song title, air pressure or traffic reports, and can even show the driver a 3D model of the town with the integrated navigation system directing him to his destination. Before setting off, the driver selects preferences for what information they want displayed, when they want it displayed and at what size so that the most important information is displayed in the foreground. These settings can be saved so that everything from the preferred menu navigation to background light color can be personalized for individual drivers.
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Thankfully the 3D depth images don't rely on those trendy red and green glasses but are made possible by two cameras inside the car that measure the position of the driver’s eyes and the distance between them – in real time. The two superimposed images that generate the 3-D effect on the display are thus individually adapted to the driver’s vision so that the full 3D effect is possible from every viewing direction and every sitting position.
The researchers will be presenting the first prototype of the cockpit display at CeBIT in Hanover on March 3 to 8.