Santa Monica, Calif. (July 12 th, 2006) ¾ DDD Group plc (AIM: DDD), the 3D software and content company, today announces that it has been granted two further patents from the United States and Canadian patent offices of its key “Dynamic Depth Cueing” (“DDC”) technology. DDC is a core DDD technology that enables existing photo, film or video images to be converted for display in stereo 3D .
The new US patent extends the existing US 2D to 3D conversion patents with a series of automated image analysis and 3D depth calculation techniques designed to improve the productivity of DDD’s high quality, offline 2D to 3D conversion process. Automation of the post-production 2D to 3D conversion process is a key requirement in the emerging market for 3D digital cinema as studios seek cost effective methods to repurpose new and existing films for release on 3D screens.
The new Canadian patent complements the previously issued DDC Canadian patent that describes the conversion of existing 2D content libraries to 3D. The new encoding component allows delivery of 3D enhanced content in a format that remains compatible with today’s 2D distribution formats. The patent addresses the need for studios and broadcasters to transmit one broadcast signal or produce a single content file that can be viewed in 2D or 3D depending on the viewer’s preference and display capabilities. The DDC encoding patent addresses a growing range of emerging mass-market 3D distribution platforms including digital cinema, DVD and broadcast television.
DDC regenerates 3D information that is not recorded when a conventional film or video camera is used. Once the 3D information is recreated, it is then used to manipulate the underlying 2D image, allowing 2D images to be transformed to 3D for a wide variety of 3D display formats ranging from large format IMAX® films to the latest generation of mobile telephone 3D displays.
Dr. Julien Flack, Chief Technology Officer of DDD commented, “The automated image analysis and depth reconstruction techniques are an important addition to our growing international patent library. With the recent arrival of the 3D digital cinema market, automating the post production conversion process reduces the cost of a feature length movie conversion, improving the financial viability of releasing converted movies for studios who are keen to take advantage of the growing number of 3D capable screens.”
Chris Yewdall, President & CEO +1 310 566-3340
Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial
Nick Lambert +44 (0) 20 7861-3232
Notes to Editors
DDD, also known as Dynamic Digital Depth, is transforming the viewing experience with applications for glasses-free 3D displays. Its patented technologies enable 3D viewing without glasses; simple integration of computer graphics applications with 3D displays; supply of 3D content through 2D to 3D conversion; and 3D transmission over existing networks. DDD is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM: DDD).
- A new category of flat screen LCD and plasma displays are being developed and marketed by major consumer electronics companies that provide stereoscopic 3D images without the need for the viewer to wear glasses. Stereoscopic 3D images appear to have natural in and off-screen depth. 3D displays have already been included with mobile telephones in Japan and in desktop PC displays and notebook computers in North America and Japan.
- In 2003 and 2004, DoCoMo introduced two models of Sharp mobile telephone that included a 3D LCD display developed by Sharp Corporation. DoCoMo sold approximately 2.8 million 3D mobile telephones in Japan.
- In July 2005, DDD announced a two-year license agreement to integrate its DDD Mobile™ real time 3D conversion software with a 3D mobile telephone handset for one of the world’s top five handset manufacturers.
- DDD’s solutions provide an important bridge between conventional two dimensional (2D) applications and content and the new 3D displays. Normal 2D pictures, video and computer graphics images are manipulated by DDD’s patented software enabling them to be displayed on 3D displays without requiring the content to be created specially for a 3D display. DDD recently announced the ability to automatically convert still photographs and DVD video to 3D without any pre processing of the 2D image.
- DDD licenses these software applications, marketed under the TriDef® and DDD Mobile ™ brand names, to manufacturers for inclusion with the 3D display products supplied to end users. DDD also licenses the software directly to end users who already own 3D displays and through an international sales channel. Sharp Corporation and DDD entered into a multi year software licensing agreement in October 2003 that allows Sharp to include a bundle of five of DDD’s 3D software applications with Sharp’s Actius range of 3D notebook PCs sold in Japan and America.
- DDD expects to license the DDD Mobile software library to additional handset makers who wish to include 3D LCD displays in a variety of wireless devices including next generation smartphones and PDAs. The licensing arrangements are expected to yield a per unit royalty to DDD based on the number of wireless devices manufactured by the licensee. These projects may also yield one time development and integration fees associated with assisting the manufacturer in the successful integration of the DDD software with the 3D wireless device.
- DDD also intends to generate income through the conversion of existing libraries of premium mobile content including wallpaper, animations and movies. The company expects to participate in a share of the income paid by wireless subscribers who download 3D content that has been converted to 3D by DDD. In July 2005, DDD announced a partnership with Jamster! International Sarl to convert Jamster’s popular mobile phone content library to 3D for distribution to owners of 3D mobile phones.
- DDD is currently expanding the product range to allow its content solutions to be used on future 3D display products including consumer television and digital cinema.
Ocuity specializes in delivering enhancements to flat panel displays. Its mission is to be the leading supplier of reconfigurable optical technology to the flat panel display industry. The company’s key patented invention is the Polarisation Activated Microlens that enables a polarization switch to be used to switch between normal 2D and auto stereoscopic 3D viewing modes. The result is a compact, high quality no-glasses 3D display with a wide viewing angle and 3D depth range. Ocuity’s technology is licensed to display manufacturing companies.
Ocuity was founded in 2001 and is a private company based near Oxford, England. More information is located on the World Wide Web at www.ocuity.co.uk.
Polarisation Activated Microlens is a trademark of Ocuity Limited.
TriDef and DDD Mobile are trademarks of DDD Group plc.
- OMAP is a trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated.