MirraViz MultiView “How-it-works”, Magic or Physics?

One of the most common questions we get when people try out our MultiView system is, “Wait, what?!? How the heck does this work?”

In this post, we provide some basic information on how the MirraViz technology works to enable multiplayer gaming and large screen personalized entertainment.

MultiView Display Introduction

Before we get into the “how-it-works” details, if you have not already tried our system, this post (video archive) has a compilation of MirraViz demo videos.  It will be helpful to view at least the first video so you can have a better idea of what we are talking about when we reference Multiview and talk about concepts like local multiplayer gaming.

In the video, each of the two gamers are viewing their own content over the same large display surface.  Meanwhile, a third viewer is watching a movie at the same time on the same screen.  The solution is glasses-free and each user sees their own content without seeing what the other users are seeing.  Anywhere from 4-6 perspectives can easily be accommodated in a typical living room environment.

Difference vs Prior Approaches

Other companies have tried to achieve this type of MultiView or Multi screen capability. However, those approaches have all required either glasses or had constrained, fixed locations for the individual views.

The MirraViz approach is unique in that it is glasses-free and allows for movement of the individual viewing locations.  Also, the size of the display is unique with screen sizes up to 97 inches and larger.

With the MirraViz MultiView breakthrough capability users can enjoy in-person social gaming with friends and family on large area displays without split-screen and screen cheating.  Additionally, the systems can be used as a large screen size home theater system or for casual TV or movie viewing (for latest product details, see www.mirraviz.com).  In out-of-home environments the MirraViz displays can be used as large indoor video walls with MultiView capability or as tradeshow or exhibit displays.

How-it-works Description

So how do we do accomplish this amazing technological feat?  To better understand, it helps to look at how today’s traditional displays work.  Currently, the light coming from a TV screen or reflected off a home theater screen scatters everywhere.  You can actually test this yourself by turning on the TV in a dark room and looking at the ceiling, the floors.  All the flickering light you see on these surfaces is wasted photons.  Depending on viewing distance, less than 1 out of 100,000 photons coming from a display actually reach a person’s pupils.  When you step back and think about it, this is a remarkably inefficient way to display content.

In our research and product development, we wanted to completely disrupt this inefficient and decades-old method of delivering display images to viewers.

The MirraViz accomplishes this by focusing photons from the screen very efficiently back to each user’s source.   The diagram below illustrates the basic concept showing how a traditional display works versus a MirraViz Multiview display system.




Engineered Reflection

The actual focusing of the light is accomplished through a multi-layer stack comprising millions of optical elements within each MultiView display screen. The basic physics principle for one of the key optical layers includes the use of retro-reflection (RR) optical elements which are also used in traffic signage and bicycle reflectors.  The basic idea behind retro-reflection is that light reaching one of the RR elements will be reflected back to the source of the light regardless of the incident angle.  This is different from typical reflective surfaces that reflect light at an angle equal to the incident angle.  Below is a basic sketch to illustrate.

Retro-reflection versus normal reflection schematic


A few comments here in response to commonly asked questions (for more detailed FAQ, see https://mirraviz.com/pages/support):

  • The viewing locations are not confined to be fixed relative to the screen. There can be up to several movable viewing locations positioned in front of the same screen
  • There is no power required for the screen and installation is very simple
  • This is not the lenticular approach that people often see with 3-D bookmarks

Key Benefits

By focusing the light back to each source in this manner we achieve a few key benefits.

  1. The effective brightness of the display is increase by >100x for a given source
  2. Since the light is focused back to each source so efficiently, almost none of the light for a given source is seen by adjacent viewers.
  3. An additional benefit from the >100x brightness increase is that screen sizes of 100 inches or larger can easily be realized

The combination of these two improvements enables small, low Lumen projectors to display a bright image on large display screens.  These benefits also maintain privacy and allow for the unique MultiView personalized content for each user.

So, there you have it.  Unfortunately, no magic involved – just some fun physics.  Thank you for reading.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to post below.

7 thoughts on “MirraViz MultiView “How-it-works”, Magic or Physics?

  1. Three questions:
    – How much spread is there in the light beam after retroreflection? It can’t be a perfect retroreflector, otherwise you’d have to look through the projector to see your image.
    – Is it retroreflective along both axes? e.g. if I wanted to have the projector hanging from the roof, would I be able to see the image if I was sitting at a lower level than the screen?
    – Does the projector have to be closer to the screen than you, or can you place it behind you?


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