Most of us, at one time or another have been fascinated by some form of 3-dimensional technology. Whether it be the red-and- blue comics or a stunning IMAX 3D film, there is something inherently captivating about seeing flat images come to life. Today 3D glasses deliver more unique and exciting experiences than ever before. But where did the idea come from and who created them?
The earliest forms of 3D glasses were not glasses at all. In the mid-19th century, Charles Wheatstone discovered that simply viewing a pair of similar (but not exact) images side-by-side can give the impression of three-dimensionality. The images are taken by two cameras that are slightly separated. This way, the photographs mimic what each one of our two eyes would see in reality.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the stereoscope was invented to address these issues. The stereoscope used lenses that merged the two distinct images into one, giving the effect of a 3D scene without straining the eyes.
According to 3dglasses.net the stereoscope was a popular novelty in bars and arcades until around the 1930s, when film became the dominant media for entertainment. Surprisingly, even today most people are probably familiar with the same technology. (click the viewing master)
The View-Master, a childhood toy for over 65 years, is a version of the stereoscope.
When you hear the term '3D,' do think of the View-Masters. What comes to mind to me is the flimsy plastic glasses with red and blue lenses.
(click the glasses)
These glasses, when used with special photographs called anaglyph images, create the illusion of depth.
Traditionally, anaglyph images were taken using two slightly separated cameras, one with a red filter and one with a blue filter. And if the special photographs were viewed without 3D glasses, these images will look blurry and discolored.
Looking through the red and blue lenses it fools the brain into seeing a 3D image. Each eye sees a slightly...