Tech Company Developing 3D Billboards Like in Back to the Future

Posted on October 11, 2015

Trilite 3D Billboard with 3D shark

A tech company and university researchers are working on developing 3-D billboards like the Jaws 19 billboard seen in Back to the Future Part II. Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and TriLite Technologies say in a release that "such displays will soon be possible."

TU Wien and TriLite first developed a display element that uses micro optics and moving micro mirrors. It uses 3D pixels they are calling Trixels. These 3D pixels consist of a laser and a moveable mirror. The mirror directs the laser beams across the field of vision, from left to right. The image information changes during these movement enabling different pictures to be sent to viewers' left and right eye. The company says this creates a 3D effect for the viewer without the need for 3D glasses.

The second prototype developed by the companies equips each Trixel with three different lasers (red, green and blue). The module consists of 12x9 Trixels, so any number of modules can be assembled to create a large outdoor display.

Jorg Reitterer from TriLite Technologies says, "The software for controlling the modules and displaying movies has already been developed. We can use any off-the-shelf 3D movie and play it on our display."

In the movie Marty McFly travels to the future - the year 2015. A holographic Jaws appears to leap from a cinema display for the film Jaws 19 and frightens Marty. The 3D shark appears around the 1:05 mark. Take a look:

Image: TriLite

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