An imaging system enables real-time 3-D viewing without strain.
A technology company is trumpeting its product as the first digital, high-definition, real-time 3-D imaging system for stereoscopic microscopy. The Micro Vision Systems Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA) TrueVision 1000 stereomicroscope system offers real-time images that can be viewed on a screen.
Consisting of a three-part system, the technology eliminates commonly perceived nuisances associated with microscopes. The camera module is attached to an existing stereomicroscope and sensors pick up the image that would normally be viewed through eyepieces. After the module captures an image of the subject, that image is transmitted to a monitor or onto a projection screen via an image-processing unit.
“The reason we like this is because we can use displays that give us high quality, high brightness, and good field-of-view,” says Mike Weissman, president and technical director of Micro Vision Systems. “In other words, it’s not a situation where there’s one person and he has to be in the right place in order to see the 3-D image. We’re using displays where several people, or even a roomful of people, can see the 3-D image. That leads to collaboration.”
The display aspect of the TrueVision system also enables customers to view items without the stress on the body attributed to the hunching action that accompanies standard microscope use. Donning passive polarized glasses, users can comfortably view the 3-D image picked up by the microscope projected onto a screen.
“Not only is there collaboration, but microscope operators will be more comfortable. Usually they’re bent over and have to keep their eyes glued to the eyepieces,” Weissman says. “That develops eyestrain, back strain, neck strain, and other injuries. About 50% of all the people who use microscopes have developed an injury of this sort. So, this is going to be a big help.”
The benchtop display option consists of a pair of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) and a 50-50 mirror. Large-audience viewing can be accommodated through the use of a rear-projection display consisting of dual LCD projectors, a projector stand, polarized glass and polarized glass filters, and a screen.
The system is suited for a range of applications. Manufacturing uses can include failure analysis, assembly, and inspection. Meanwhile, the medical industry can apply the product to surgery, exams, archiving, and telemedicine. Employment of the visualization unit in microsurgery and in a wafer-inspection facility has been successful, according to the firm.
Currently, the system is capable of storing images with no loss of resolution, color, or stereo depth, the company says. Additional features in development include point-to-point measurements in 3-D, as well as real-time recording.