SBJ/July 22-28, 2013/Idea Innovators
Published July 22, 2013, Page 19
Sankar Jayaram remains a firm believer in 3-D technology.
Jayaram, a Washington State University professor of mechanical engineering and computer science, is the co-founder of 3D-4U, a company developing 3-D technology for mobile devices using sports as the key content. Last month, about the same time ESPN announced it would discontinue its 3-D channel, Jayaram was in Qatar capturing video of a World Cup qualifier soccer match for Al Jazeera Sport.
It was among several tests 3D-4U is conducting for potential clients around the world as Jayaram pushes the technology beyond the venue into the hands of the consumer.
It fits with the development of 3-D mobile Web browsers that do not require users to wear special glasses to view those images, Jayaram said.
The mobile piece follows an initial application at Washington State’s Martin Stadium. Last fall, the school rolled out 3D-4U technology in 21 new suites, folded into 47-inch HD TVs. Fans can choose the camera angle they prefer with the ability to pan, tilt and zoom in on the action.
The mobile version is the next step, allowing users to control the cameras, create their own clips from replays, and share those files with others through social media channels, Jayaram said.
Jayaram, 52, has studied 3-D technology for more than 20 years. The 3-D patents he filed as far back as 1994 went nowhere in large part because the system he developed was ahead of its time.
“I learned from that,” Jayaram said. “Just knowing that you can build the technology is not a good enough reason to do it right away. You have to make sure the market is ready for it.”