Proceedings PaperTrue-Depth: a new type of true 3D volumetric display system suitable for CAD, medical imaging, and air-traffic control
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Floating Images, Inc. is developing a new type of volumetric monitor capable of producing a high-density set of points in 3D space. Since the points of light actually exist in space, the resulting image can be viewed with continuous parallax, both vertically and horizontally, with no headache or eyestrain. These 'real' points in space are always viewed with a perfect match between accommodation and convergence. All scanned points appear to the viewer simultaneously, making this display especially suitable for CAD, medical imaging, air-traffic control, and various military applications. This system has the potential to display imagery so accurately that a ruler could be placed within the aerial image to provide precise measurement in any direction. A special virtual imaging arrangement allows the user to superimpose 3D images on a solid object, making the object look transparent. This is particularly useful for minimally invasive surgery in which the internal structure of a patient is visible to a surgeon in 3D. Surgical procedures can be carried out through the smallest possible hole while the surgeon watches the procedure from outside the body as if the patient were transparent. Unlike other attempts to produce volumetric imaging, this system uses no massive rotating screen or any screen at all, eliminating down time due to breakage and possible danger due to potential mechanical failure. Additionally, it is also capable of displaying very large images.