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MLD Platform

MLD® is a platform using optical, imaging and software technology with real depth to deliver the highest quality 2D and 3D experience. The platform is compatible with all existing content sources and includes a development environment for custom content. The 3D visual experience is delivered with No Glasses, No Headaches, No Eye Strain/Fatigue, No Sweet Spots, No Cross Talk, with Full Resolution. There is not another 3D technology to our knowledge that has this full capability.

MLD Platform Benefits        MLD Technology

Technology behind the 3D Experience

MLD® technology involves a display device consisting of multiple 2D image planes arranged in an optical stack with an interstitial component to eliminate moiré interference. There is physical distance between the two displays so the depth that one sees in the visual experience is actually there. The imaging software compliments the real depth by accentuating the depth cues making content look truly 3-D even though are only 2 physical imaging planes. The monocular depth cues in content combine with the real depth and software image processing to create a compelling never-seen-before visual 3-D experience that is unlike any other. It is the only 3D technology that provides full motion parallax without the need for head tracking.

MLD Technology Comparison

Technology behind the 2D Experience

The MLD® platform displays 2D content “as is”, at full resolution. This is done by simply using just one of the imaging planes to display 2D content and while this seems like a straightforward expectation, it is typical for other 3D technologies to “compromise” 2D with a drop in resolution while providing 3D capability. The MLD® Platform does not have any tradeoff when it comes to 2D and not only preserves the quality of 2D perfectly, but also can improve the visual impact of 2D content in real-time with enhanced color and contrast by delivering a more life-like visual experience for any 2D content with:

  1. Extremely high contrast with “black blacks”
  2. Wide color gamut achieved with standard LCD panels
  3. Up to 16 bit gray scale
  4. High color precision with faithful reproduction of imagery

The combination of high contrast and high color precision qualifies the MLD® as suitable for displaying High Dynamic Range (HDR) content that will be superior to 2D-LED backlight with a single LCD.

The two image planes of the MLD® optical system can be used together to create extremes of contrast, color gamut, and color precision. The combination of high contrast and precision qualifies the display for the reproduction of High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. The front panel is illuminated by the backlight through the rear panel. For the purpose of 2D imagery, the rear panel can be considered as a high-resolution color backlight. This is analogous to a very high resolution locally dimming RGB LED backlight.

As standard content is displayed on the front panel of an MLD®, the rear panel is tinted to improve the saturation of colors in the image without sacrificing overall brightness. The result is a wide color gamut showing vibrant and natural color and a high level of detail for standard images and video.

MLD® displays are capable of spectacular high contrast, giving content a superior look and feel compared to displays with normal contrast. Typical LCD displays achieve a 1000:1 contrast ratio – this is the range between the darkest and lightest part of the display. With the back layer of an MLD® lightening and darkening different areas of an image for the front layer, dynamic contrast control can be achieved resulting in at least a 100,000:1 contrast ratio – 100 times greater than traditional displays.

Transparent User Interface Experience

“Window Transparency” and depth effects can be achieved in the MLD® development environment, which is in place for new content such as Video, Images, User Interface, Applications, Games, etc. Many existing software applications incorporate a depth element in their graphical user interface design. For example, both Mac OS X and Windows 7 include the use of shading, reflections and transparency with their graphical user interfaces with native support for applications that live within the environment and share the same metaphor.

An MLD® is a display device that brings real depth into the digital display world. Since LCD panels are fundamentally semi-transparent, this allows the rear panel to be seen through the front panel allowing for the futuristic “Window Transparency” look. Both panels can be rendered onto independently in the same way as regular LCD monitors, however, to the user it can conceptually be treated as one interface that happens to have real depth within a single software application. As the front panel is transparent and closer to the viewer, front rendered elements appear at a different physical level of 3D depth to elements on the back layer.

Transparency is used in standard 2D displays and achieved through alpha blending - a software rendering technique that simulates transparency by mixing the color of two graphical objects that share the same set of pixels. In this case, most of the 3D effects of shading of both images are lost and it is not possible to distinguish which image is the top (or “active”) image as they are both visible on the same viewing plane. The MLD® can handle alpha blending within each of its display layers in the same way, however, the front LCD is as transparent as glass so that a real see-through medium is introduced in the user interface. Additionally, as see-through objects on the front layer are physically closer to the user than the objects on the back, it is clear as to which object is on “top”.

Transparent User Interface

Real-time Content Handling

A key piece of the MLD® Platform only recently developed is the software and imaging technology that allows for existing content to be displayed with the best visual 2D effect or 3D effect in real-time. This ensures that all “content worlds” run within the MLD® platform and is either displayed in 2D, enhanced 2D or full resolution, and/or glasses-free 3D. This breakthrough opens up a huge amount of content that can take advantage of the MLD® Platform from the get go with no human intervention needed – it just works. Making masses of content accessible is the key to unlocking one of the principal reasons that have prevented wide-spread adoption of 3D throughout its history. The MLD® Platform also includes a full development environment for new content creation, which is in commercial use in the Casino and Pachinko markets.

ContentProcessVisual Experience
Standard 2DReal-timeHigh Quality Standard 2D
2D High Dynamic Range ContentReal-timeHigh Quality HDR 16-bit Imagery
Gaming ContentReal-timeHighest Quality and Safe 3D
2D + DepthReal-timeHighest Quality and Safe 3D
Stereo Content (Images)Real-timeHighest Quality and Safe 3D
Stereo Content (Video)Real-timeHighest Quality and Safe 3D
2D-to-3D ContentReal-timeHighest Quality and Safe 3D
Custom ContentDev Environment (Dev Tools + Real-time Effects)Highest Quality and Safe 3D
User InterfacesReal-timeTransparent UI + Highest Quality and Safe 3D

Development Environment for Custom Content

PureDepth®’s Content Development Tools (CDTs) in the form of plug-ins and stand-alone software applications are focused at lowering the content development time and allowing developers to achieve maximum visual impact. They are being used in the Casino and Pachinko markets which have adopted MLD® hardware for custom content generation. The development environment can be delivered in a tailor-made balance of off-line and real-time effects. That is, the image processing algorithms that achieve the advanced effects can be either provided as offline tools, real-time effects or a combination of both.
Software Solutions Diagram

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