How Stereoscopic Glasses Work

3D images can be viewed with a pair of stereoscopic glasses. With today’s advancements in technology, stereoscopic glasses come in many forms. There’s the red and cyan cardboard pair that allows us to watch 3D shows on television. There are the polarized glasses that can still be found in cinemas, and then there are the LCD Shutter stereoscopic glasses that are packaged with 3D gaming and home entertainment.

How Stereoscopic Glasses Work

If you are familiar with the retro toy ViewMaster, that is one of the best examples of Stereoscopic 3D at work. This technology basically tries to replicate our natural eyes. Wherein each eye, which are about 2 inches apart, sees the same thing from a slightly different perspective. Our brain then matches the images and calculates the distance, allowing us to properly view our 3-dimensional world.

Stereoscopic 3D glasses and viewers work pretty much the same way. 3D images are superimposed on each other but offset by a couple of inches. Stereoscopic glasses then each have filters that allow each eye to view just one of the images projected.

Different Types of Stereoscopic Glasses

With the red and cyan 3D glasses, the projected image was in an anaglyphic format, wherein each eye is only allowed to see the red or green image. The polarized glasses are best used for the big screen, because there is no need to calibrate or manipulate colors. The cinematic experience is therefore not compromised. There are two projectors that show the same image but from a slightly different angle. The glasses then filter out one of the images for each eye. LCD shutter technology was then created to allow Stereoscopic 3D experience into our living room. The computer screen is set to a certain refresh rate, and each of the lenses is set to lighten and darken at different times.  This allows each eye to view the same image from a slightly different viewpoint. This will only work if your computer monitor is also set the same refresh rate or higher.