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Forget 3DTV, Get Surround Vision

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: While the television industry obsesses about 3DTV, lab rats are naturally moving beyond it. Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab have created “Surround Vision,” a way to get a look at what’s going on beyond a regular screen view. The technology syncs smartphones with a TV set so the handset picks up what’s shown on either side of TV screen. Wired says it can make for a fun Super Bowl addition, or for viewing alternate takes during a movie, for example.

The technology involves adding a magnetometer, i.e., a compass, to a handset. Software harvests the data from the compass and feeds it to sensors to create the expanded visual field. The concept was developed by Santiago Alfaro as a thesis project under the MIT Media Lab’s Michael Bove, who said Surround Vision is sufficiently developed to be deployed by a network now.

Popular Science said Alfaro and Bove have a user study set up for the summer.