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The No Glasses Needed Stereo 3D Tech is Fake, Yes it is a Fake…

January 17th, 2011 · 24 Comments · General 3D News


I wasn’t planning originally to post this video and write about it, but since so many people sent me the link and after reading about it in multiple popular websites apparently a lot of people did believe that what they are seeing is true. Yes, it looks pretty well made for an average user the video effects could pass by as cinema quality special effects simulating the real thing, but there are multiple things that only a more knowledgeable about 3D technology or electronics savvy person can notice. The truth is that this entire video is a joke, a fake etc… and a good way to do some viral marketing, probably at the end when its author reveals the truth it will all be clear to everyone, after getting enough publicity. But let me start with a few comments I’ve read about the video is some popular websites that you probably know very well and also read very often in regards to that video and then we can analyze a few things about the video itself. Most of them seem to accept this to be true and that is what is disturbing, or maybe just have a grain of doubt, so the author of the idea definitely has managed to succeed…

Enter this video, created by Jonathan Post, which shows an, um, entirely new way to do 3D without glasses. I’m not entirely sure how it actually works–or if it’s even real–but this device causes your eyelids to blink very fast therefore doing the job of 3D shutter glasses. … Is it real? Is it a hoax? We don’t know either. Jonathan Post says that he hopes to present the device at CES 2012, so I guess we’ll find out then! – PC World

Who’s got two thumbs and needs glasses to see 3D? Not this guy! Francois Vogel’s figured out a way to remove those pesky spectacles from the equation, and he’s ready to revolutionize the stereoscopic industry forever. – Engadget

French filmmaker Francois Vogel certainly thinks so. We’re not sure exactly how wide an adoption Vogel was hoping for with his own glasses-free 3D technology (or, if we’re honest, if this is even a 100% serious video), but we’d wager that Sony, Samsung et al. are safe for now. It appears to work by attaching a couple of small electrode-like devices to the side of the head, which force… actually, you know what? We’re not going to spoil it for you. You can watch the video below. – T3

Jonathon Post has demonstrated what appears to be a legitimate solution for glasses-free 3D TV. – Electronista

Apart from the bizarre effect that is created there are plenty of indicators that this is a bit of a leg pull — first, he’s a visual artist, and wouldn’t this be something an artist would do? Secondly, we never get to see the screen, and from the thumbnail above it looks like he’s looking at Windows. – CNet

François Vogel, an innovative filmmaker and visual artist, here demonstrates why you should never complain about 3D glasses again. Interesting, definitely zany to watch, but take this with a smile and a wink. About 97,000 of them. – Kotaku

So the idea behind this fake solution is that you attach a pair of electrodes that send electrical signals to the muscles responsible for controlling your eyelids, making them contract and retract at a very fast speed in order to replicate the same thing that a pair of active shutter glasses does. Now this is the closes thing that gets to reality, I mean you can do something like that with a pair of electrodes attached at the right place. But this is as far as the thing goes in touch with the reality and everything that is possible as there are too much “science fiction” involved in the actual implementation that is being presented on the video…



Take a look at a somewhat similar experiment made by Daito Manabe in the video above where he has multiple electrodes attached to his face that go in sync with music by sending electrical impulses that make his face muscles chance the impression of the face. See the difference? Electrodes with wires needed to supply the voltage and not very fast reaction of the muscles (this is probably related to the slow pulses of electricity being sent). Now imagine how you can fit in such a small device as the ones used in first video an electrode, powerful enough battery, wireless synchronization… oh and the two LEDs, sounds quite impossible, right? But that is just the start of it…

In the video we see some monitors that look like a professional LCDs from Eizo for example, but there is not yet a 3D-capable LCD monitor that can operate at 120Hz refresh rate frequency that looks like the one in the video. Then we see a Mac keyboard and something that looks like a Mac Pro system under the desk, something that makes things even less probable to be true. Then the guy uses a pair of infrared air conditioning remotes to sync up the two electrodes to the PC (WFT?) and after that just presses the space to start the playback. When we are talking about synchronization of shuttering at 120Hz this needs to be done very precisely and the PC itself should be doing the synchronization in order for the shuttering and the images displayed on the screen to be perfectly matched. Of course we don’t seen anything on the display that is supposed to be showing the 3D content and the blinking of the eyes can be easily recorded and recreated as a special effect and then overlayed on the video that was shot… did someone mention a filmmaker here? Notice how the guy rises his eyebrows a few times while his eyes are rapidly shuttering, this would be hardly possible unless the electrodes are very precisely positioned, so that they will not affect any of the near muscle groups responsible for operating other parts of the face.

It is entirely different thing if our eyelids would actually even be capable of repeatedly open and close at a very fast speed for more than a few times, as the blinking itself is done very rapidly, so that we normally don’t notice it at all… but that is a single blinking and not blinking 60 times a second. The eye muscles might not be capable of doing that and as the major function of the eyelids is to protect our eyes and keep our eyes moist. In order to do that our eyelids only close one in a few seconds (usually around once in 6 seconds), but imagine what will happen if they do it 60 times a second for lets say an hour. Our eyes will be literally leaking what can be described as a flow of tears and that will not happen because we are so into the deep story of the 3D movie we should be watching this way. Not to mention that if the glands responsible for producing the liquid that we also refer to as tears are not being able to keep up with the increased requirements out eyes might гet dried and this can in turn lead to actually damaging our eyes. So would anyone sane enough actually try to replace shutter glasses with a device that is forcing his own eyes to do exactly what the shutter glasses do, even if it is theoretically possible, with a very serious possibility of actually damaging permanently his own vision by using such a product.

And here I’m not even talking about the possibilities that sending electric currents to the muscles responsible for controlling the eyelids may as well be dangerous in entirely different way with high possibility of damaging your vision and not only the vision. And that goes especially if the electrical impulses you send are higher that they are safe… I mean this way you can literally become blind from watching 3D, and there are much more things to talk about in regards, but I’ll stop at this… ;)

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24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom // Jan 17, 2011 at 14:31

    I am really surprised that people are this gullible. I admit the author had me interested in what he was putting together at first. His presentation seemed serious enough, but the moment his eyelids started to shutter I loled.

  • 2 Nick7 // Jan 17, 2011 at 16:19

    ROFL!!!

    Good one.

    I just cannot believe some people think that’s for real!

  • 3 Scott // Jan 17, 2011 at 16:26

    The giveaway happened the second they did a “cutaway” to a second camera. Too much production value. And for sure they wouldn’t bother with a wireless as their first prototype.. there would be wires coming from his face.

  • 4 Michael // Jan 17, 2011 at 16:43

    Finally, a report on this video that uses some critical thinking and some intelligence instead of just copying the press release. Thank you!

    I was beginning to wonder whether being a tech journalist simply involved using cut, copy and paste. Now that the video has been revealed as a fake, it really isn’t looking too good for those websites who blindly parroted the press release, is it?

  • 5 Thomasjn // Jan 17, 2011 at 17:39

    thank you for stating what should be obvious, bloody.

    I cant beleive how many people that are complaining and whining on youtube about how annoying the “new 3d tech” is gonna be.

  • 6 Cesar Sommer // Jan 17, 2011 at 19:34

    Haha this is amusing LOL, i hope nobody will try that!!!
    acutally could only be toped by exchanging him with jim carrey :-D :-)!

  • 7 Mathew Orman // Jan 17, 2011 at 19:40

    He forgot to stick out his tongue like this one:

    http://www.depletedcranium.com/happyscience/einstein-tongue.jpg

    Mathew Orman

  • 8 A concerned reader // Jan 18, 2011 at 06:45

    I understand that every time a new technology is released that it becomes grounds for fear and suspicion. Now, I’m not saying that the video is real, but I’m most certainly not saying you are correct. You may have found a way to rant and ramble for a lengthy read but you have by no means posed an argument. Your grammar is atrocious, run-on sentences plague your article and your lack of spelling skills and knowledge of verb tenses offends. Please also cite sources or inform me as a reader of your experience making you an informed source. I read what I can only interpret as speculation. Many of the foundations for your arguments seem like opinions stated as facts. Being someone subjected to nerve damage, I know that your understanding of electrode therapy is flawed at best. Also, if you’re going to write as though you have a knowledge of biology, perhaps you should use medical terms. I’m only being so critical because you’ve taken a stance in an attempt to demystify a video and to show technology journalists the errors of their ways. Unfortunately, you are up against respected sources of technology news and a video. If a picture says a thousand words then the video says a million and unlike your article, each statement appears well informed, grammatically correct and spelled properly.

  • 9 bill p // Jan 18, 2011 at 10:06

    vogel did that amazing “You” campaign for HP Digital about five years back…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lde77E4PY4Q

    he’s the guy putting the picture frames around his head.

    clearly he’s just having some fun.

  • 10 Steve R // Jan 18, 2011 at 14:11

    Great article.

    I was also very skeptical of this guy, I think you have debunked him royally here.

    SR

  • 11 Hugo S // Jan 18, 2011 at 15:20

    I´d add that on that site jonathanpost.com there is an avatar picture of the pseudo-inventor, Jonathan Post. Searching google for his name you can find a different picture of him, with exactly the same hair and position but a different face, other nose, etc… that avatar on his site is a photoshop fake photo based on the real “jonathan post” wich is a young pre-engineering student on New Jersey. Vogel is a great short film maker that works with ads, so, he is advertising his own name and having some fun. He is behind lot´s of ads with lot´s of special effects.

  • 12 Mark // Jan 18, 2011 at 21:25

    I’d agree that the video is probably fake (more because its pretty surreal than anything else) but I wouldn’t say you’ve debunked the myth, not in the sense that its technically impossible anyway. Not sure about the biology bit, but why would you need a 3d capable screen at 120Hz? It might not be super smooth, but isn’t 35fps fast enough to see an image sequence as an animation, as in persistence of vision? Double that for each eye and you’re still only looking at 70Hz. For those who aren’t “more knowledgeable about 3D technology,” thats actually pretty easy for most monitors.

    And why is hitting the space bar strange? And what about using a Mac? You didn’t really go into detail on that.

    It might be a fake, but to be honest, who actually cares. It looks really funny and whats more interesting, technically it’s not all that impossible.

  • 13 Bloody // Jan 18, 2011 at 22:14

    Mark, the author of the video says the system only works on 120Hz displays, so in the video there should be one such, right?

    Most if not all currently available 120Hz 3D solutions only work on PC. If we are talking about some real prototype it wouldn’t be like just hitting the space and everything to start working, unless we have a fully complete product that just requires you to hit the space to play lets say a 3d video.. oh yes, I forgot that he did the syncing part with a pair of two IR remotes :)

    Although theoretically it might be possible to some extent, it will be pointless (not to mention much more expensive to realize) than alternative technology that also does not require the user to wear glasses.

  • 14 Mathew Orman // Jan 18, 2011 at 22:50

    I did not believe people would fall for this crap.
    For the start the electrodes as place would not make an eye blink.
    Second, the highest blinking speed would be no more then 3 to 5 Hz.
    Finally when eyes blink there is a slight pointing angle shift which would make the image blurred and useless.

    It is just a cheap roto-scope technique video edit job.

    Mathew Orman

  • 15 Mark // Jan 18, 2011 at 22:59

    Does he say that? Is that in a blog post? I must have missed that one. I guess that would prove the video fake for good. However, I was more thinking about it being theoretically possible. Technically, the only weak point in the concept is the human element. We probably just cant blink at 3ohz. Maybe we just need to wait for a firmware upgrade ;)

    I still think its a fascinating idea though. Add some head tracking and you could modify the perspective projection in a game. that would look very cool. Shame it would only work with one person in the room

    What are the other glasses free 3d options you mention? Not the lenticular stuff I hope.

  • 16 Mathew Orman // Jan 18, 2011 at 23:17

    Yen can read more about it here:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Worlds-first-zone-free-autostereoscopic-2659436.S.39600512?qid=546cbfaa-0084-45b5-b98e-577d3dacc874&goback=.gmp_2659436.gde_2659436_member_39600512.gmp_2659436

    Mathew Orman

  • 17 Nick7 // Jan 19, 2011 at 14:57

    Tbh, if you wan’t ‘glasses-free’ S3D, at this point in time what would seem as most feasible, and actually doable way is using lenses.
    Use circular polarized lens for each eye, so instead of using them on glasses, you use lens.
    Yes, this has it’s drawbacks too, obviously… but hey, it’s glasses-free! :)

    2 ‘A concerned reader’: Seriously dude??? Wtf u smoking?!! Did you ever have biology class? Can’t you actually see issues with this ‘working’ on a human being?
    Let’s pretend it’s possible to electrically stimulate eye to blink 30+ times a second (which is not possible, but hey, let’s continue) – how long would it take for muscles to wear out, and ‘stop responding’? Eyes also have ‘water’ in them for lubrication. If it were even possible to blink that often, eyes would dry out much sooner, making it very painful/harmful to blink.
    Now, let’s even put all THAT aside… you think muscles would be that precise to have proper ‘sync’?
    Etc, etc… people actually believing it’s true.. well.. amaze me.

    PS: I wonder how actually those people post here, seeing there’s needed for basic calculation of bottom at submit button…

  • 18 Alexander Bradley // Jan 19, 2011 at 15:24

    ROFL, first time I have seen the footage and all I can say is it had me in absolute stitches. A work of art, a classic. I do not believe its real, the minute the eye blinking started to speed. I did enjoy your long detailed coverage of the movie, dont know why some people felt like ripping into you for it?? Cant stand people who get all pompus about spelling and grammer so ignore them! Anyway great little video and I must share that on my sites. Am still smilling. Class. Thanks

  • 19 Bloody // Jan 19, 2011 at 15:52

    Daito Manabe has another interesting video, where he is trying to replicate the same effect as in the controversial video…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaF5WEbWehU

    His findings reveal that with his device the muscles couldn’t move faster than 9Hz (that is 9 times a second) and that it is also impossible to open his eyes when blinking is too fast.

  • 20 Stan V. // Jan 20, 2011 at 03:45

    Bloody, while video is fake, and the eyelids are a special effect, I can tell from your article you relied on facts and feelings that you felt are insufficient on their own, so had to add some silly retro-rationalisations.

    “Those are maybe Eizo monitors and they maybe can’t be 120Hz”. LCD monitors are easily capable of 120Hz, especially specialized/in-lab ones. Every existing consumer-grade LCD TV or LCD projector with active shutter glasses works at at least 120 Hz.

    “That’s a Mac keyboard and what looks like a Mac Pro” … Yes, and? A Mac is a computer. So you tell us nothing there.

    Basically, a better way to debunk this story would be to stick to the facts, of which you also listed plenty: we can’t blink at 120 Hz, if we could, we wouldn’t last a minute. We can’t build (to our knowledge) a precise eyelid electric stimulation device you simply stick at one point on each side of your head to control independently two muscles (you need two points for each muscle).

    Circumstantial evidence is the site is empty except for this video, Francois has not commented or posted any sources or additional information regarding the ‘experiment’ despite the hype.

    In the end, it’s important not to get too worked up about it. People think it’s real? Let them. It won’t hurt them, it might even inspire them to learn something new, just as long as they don’t end up electrocuting their faces in attempt to reproduce it.

    I’m still curious: why did he make this video? And I have to admit I’m checking daily the progress around this video, waiting to see what Francois himself reveals when the next stage of the campaign kicks in.

  • 21 Gamma // Jan 20, 2011 at 22:43

    Why so serious?

    “I wasn’t planning originally to post this video and write about it (…)”

    And then you did it and just went overboard, only shy of making a federal case out of it… LOL

    The video is obviously a joke, with a self-promotion string attached I suspect (is it really? the guy is already working for the Big Cs). The effect itself is noting of the outer world…

    “To dismistify by mistifying” is the between the lines of this article.

    I also add that I am running a Mac OS SL on a 120Hz monitor doing its well acknowledged wonders (2D).

    Just bring yourself a good laugh and possibly share it with others with a smile on your face… and blinking eyes ;)

  • 22 Junior Vasquez // Jan 25, 2011 at 06:58

    3D No Glasses of Jonathan Post is fake video (viral) done to promote Jonathan Post, a new VFX house in São Paulo, Brazil. The process was made with Nuke.

  • 23 OMG // Mar 4, 2011 at 18:56

    @A concerned reader: your mentioned nerve damage goes well beyond what you are currently aware of.

  • 24 hans // Mar 10, 2012 at 17:02

    I’ve tried it too and it works! Great invention. The only problem is that I can’t stop my eyelids from moving anymore. Hopefully Jonathan will find a solution for this little discomfort.

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