Dr. Ralf Schäfer

Mirror-less and glasses-free – the future of 3D

Although the situation in the 3D movie industry is stable and the numbers of sold 3D-ready displays is still growing the general interest in 3D is decreasing and especially 3DTV is facing severe problems, which becomes apparent by e.g. the announcements of ESPN and the BBC to shut down their 3D services. Currently, 3DTV faces five major problems: 1. there is not enough 3D content available; 2. the quality of 3D content is not always sufficient; 3. the production of 3DTV is far too expensive; 4. users need glasses to watch 3D; 5. there are no transmission standards for autostereoscopic 3D yet. Therefore major efforts are going on worldwide to solve these problems and some promising developments are on the way. Also Fraunhofer HHI and its partners are working on such technologies. Examples are a trifocal 3D camera system, which does not require mirrors, a very small and lightweight stereo rig, which can be operated fully automatically and can therefore be put close or even into the scene, methods to automatically convert stereo to multiview and new coding schemes, which enable the transmission of 3DTV at data rates which today are used for HDTV. These developments will be explained in detail during the presentation.

Curriculum Vitae

Ralf Schäfer studied communication engineering at Technische Universität Berlin (ZUB) and after his diploma he became a scientific employee at Heinrich Hertz Insititut Berlin.
He wrote his doctorate at TUB in the field of digital coding of televisionsignals. Since 1989, he is head of the department Image Processing of HHI, where he is responsible for 70 scientists and 40 student workers. His scientific interests lie in all areas concerning image and video, beginning from recording to the display as such, on to chiprealisation to algorythms. Currently he coordinates the Core Technology Cluster of the THESEUS – research program on the "internet of services".

Ralf Schäfer is head of ITG expert comitee „digital imagecoding“ and member of the judge comitee of FKTG. In 1986, he has been rewarded with the ITG Price of Literature and in 2000 he achieved the Richard-Theile Medaille of FKTG.