Can we use 3DTVs to help spot weapons in airport security scans?
There are many applications of 3D displays where the viewer needs to look at transparent shapes, one example is in medical imaging where doctors need to make a diagnosis using a 3D scan of a patient, another is airport security where security staff must look at x-ray images of luggage to check for weapons.
Our exhibit at the Royal Society in July 2011 was designed to demonstrate whether there is a difference in your ability to spot weapons in a transparent image when it is viewed in either 2D or stereoscopic 3D.
To do this we showed the specially created Spot the Weapon game* where a sequence of computer graphics images was shown to visitors and they made a decision whether each image contains or does not contain a weapon, for example one of the above images does and one does not**.
Technical design of the exhibit
The software developed for this exhibit was written in Python, this is a modern rapid prototyping computer language, allowing us to quickly develop and test different approaches to presenting the images. It was developed using the Enthought Python software distribution.
The 3D display we used was a Hyundai 24" 3D display this is HD quality and uses circular polarisation to separate the left and right images. This allows us to use exactly the same 3D glasses made by RealD as you use for watching 3D movies like Avatar in the cinema.
*Throughly tested by Guy, Susannah and Naomi.
**The right hand one does.