Skip to Content

3-D Made Simple

Software takes photos into a new dimension.

If the giant soda can that adorns your neighborhood vending machine looks so real you’re ready to reach out and grab it, the image was probably created by an Israeli company that has invented a new way to produce stereo 3-D images from ordinary photographs.

HumanEyes, based in Jerusalem, uses software algorithms developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to analyze the images a digital camera records in continuous or video mode as it sweeps over a scene. The software examines and integrates dozens to hundreds of frames and creates a continuum of “virtual” views. One-pixel-wide slices of selected views are interlaced, and the processed image is printed and attached to lenticular plastic-sheets of long thin lenses.

These lenses send different underlying pictures to each eye, giving the viewer the illusion of depth. And as the viewer’s angle shifts, different pairs of perspectives appear-just as if the viewer were walking past an actual scene. Other companies such as ProMagic in Vista, CA, also sell software for making lenticular images, but HumanEyes is the first to give stereoscopic photographs both realistic depth and this “panoramic” effect.

The technology’s first outing is in Chile, where HumanEyes’ images decorate Coca-Cola vending machines. Other companies will soon snap up the technology, predicts James Nail, a senior analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA. Meanwhile, HumanEyes is developing a home version of its software that will allow digital-camera hobbyists to create their own 3-D images.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.