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The basic design challenge is to create a system that can display multiple images in a common area, occluding all but the appropriate pair of these images for each user. Thus, the system would deliver a unique image for each eyeball viewing the scene. Solutions fall into four general categories: Spatial barriers use the display's physical configuration and user placement to block users from seeing each other's view. Optical filtering involves systems that filter viewpoints using light's electromagnetic properties, such as polarization or wavelength. Optical routing uses the angle-sensitive optical characteristics of certain materials to direct or occlude images based on the user's position. Time multiplexing solutions use time-sequenced light and shutters to determine which user sees an image at a given point in time. Systems also can mix solutions from these categories. Time multiplexing, for example, could serve to create stereoscopic images, with spatial barriers employed to ensure that each user sees only the correct image.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2004