It is already being used in the oil and gas industry to improve exploration activity and has substantial potential in a range of other fields, including biotechnology.

Think Princess Leia’s floating image in Star Wars … Unique visualisation technology which creates hi-tech 3D images has been developed in Glasgow.

It is already being used in the oil and gas industry to improve exploration activity and has substantial potential in a range of other fields, including biotechnology.

IRIS-3D has developed display technology which allows the human eye to decode three-dimensional images far more effectively than previous systems.

The value of the system has already been recognised by exploration firms such as Shell but is also being considered by clinicians specialising in medical imaging.

Chief executive Stuart McKay said: ‘Normal human vision is stereoscopic as it relies on the fusion within the brain of images from both eyes. Traditionally, scientists interpreting 3D images on screen required elaborate pieces of kit and had to wear special glasses to separate out
the left and right eye images presented on screen – exactly like those worn in iMAX cinemas.

‘Unfortunately, this technology is less than perfect and causes visual discomfort when used for a long time. Humans find it hard to ‘decode’ detailed stereoscopic images as there is always an element of ‘crosstalk’ or leakage between the two images.’

IRIS-3D technology en-hances visualisation of 3D images by eliminating crosstalk and allowing far more accurate interpretation and dramatically improved user comfort. Users are also no longer constrained in terms of how long they can work in 3D mode.

McKay added: ‘The system has proved useful in analysing images for seismic interpretation, reservoir modelling and drill planning within the oil and gas industry. The technology is equally applicable to the medical sector in areas such as interventional radiology (interpretation of CT/MRI data) surgical planning and even surgical navigation within an operating room environment.

‘Medical imaging is using ever-higher image resolution and it is now possible to image 7500 slices of the human thorax, for example, as the body takes a single breath. This amount of detail has always been difficult to analyse two-dimentionally, but our technology provides a 3D
stereoscopic representation.

‘This appears to the viewer just as a physical model would, floating in front of the screen – just like Princess Leia appeared in the Star Wars movie.’

The firm is now targeting the life sciences sector with the means of delivering enhanced biomedical imaging – giving 3D visualisation of tissue and blood vessels for example.

IRIS-3D was set up in Glasgow in December 2003. A spin-out from Strathclyde University, the firm employs five people.

Source : www.theherald.co.uk