Anaglyph 3D works on any tablet, is slightly awesome

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There are many ways of creating 3D effects. One of the oldest techniques involved using anaglyphic glasses with two differently colored lenses and an image that was “outlined” using these colors in order to give a 3D effect. This technology is no longer used very much due to better technologies such as active shutter glasses and polarized glasses taking its place, but while those technologies actually require special hardware the old anaglyph 3D system can be used on practically any scree- including tablets.

Once upon a time this was how 3D was done everywhere except the IMAX theatres. They even released DVDs with this system “back in the day” which enabled people to view 3D in their living rooms without any expensive new TV sets, you got glasses in magazines and comics and the whole concept was a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Then it died as 3D became more common and out of reach for many.

When I first wrote about using anaglyph 3D on tablets almost a month ago I also ordered some glasses from China to give it a try. I thought they were well on their way until I got the shipping notice today, meaning it will be a couple of weeks at least until they actually get here. As luck would have it a Scandinavian gadget store chain just added anaglyphic glasses to their inventory and they have a store nearby, so I went there in hopes of finding a pair. They had them in stock so I grabbed a pair and went home. I’ve spent the last hour or so playing with various apps on the iPad and the system actually works great. I’m no fan of 3D at all but this actually had me slightly impressed. I found that searching for anaglyph(ic) on Flickr worked better than trying various apps (as most wants you to pay) and I had no luck creating 3D images myself using software that claimed to be able to do so using normal cameras, but seeing pictures that people have taken with cameras that are actually designed to take 3D images is just as fun if not more (since they’re professional pictures of interesting places, mostly). You can also go on YouTube and search for anaglyph there for video.

This isn’t overly useful nor will it keep you occupied for long, but come on- a pair of glasses like this will cost you a few bucks at the most. For that price it’s well worth playing with and showing off to people who think 3D is “special”. Personally I think 3D is OK if done right but I’d much rather see 4k screens (much higher resolution) and save 3D for when we have holograms and whatnot. If you want to try this yourself and have time to wait, DealExtreme still sells them, though pretty much anywhere else will be faster.


Update: here’s a game that supports anaglyph 3D

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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