Tech Beat: Public library effort has web users seeing double
The New York Public Library is helping visitors see images from the 1800s in 3D, no glasses or special equipment required. YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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The New York Public Library recently unveiled its new Stereogranmator, an online tool to make old stereographic images in the library's archives from as far back as the mid-1800s look 3D, even if you don't have 3D glasses on you.
"Stereographic photography has been around since about the mid 19th century. I'd say it was really hugely popular in the late 19th, early 20th century. They were flat cards with seemingly identical images that you needed to get a special piece of viewing equipment to fully see and that's called a stereoscope and so it was the original, immersive entertainment," says Ben Vershbow of the New York Public Library.
To make it immersive for viewers, the library seized on something an everyday user of its website out in San Francisco was just doing on his own for fun: Taking the two images, lining them up just so, and then alternating them really quickly.
"By just sort of getting them in that sweet spot it kinda gives you the 3D effect on a flat, 2D screen because it's moving back and forth between these slightly different images, you kinda see around objects," says Vershbow.
And while the folks at the library certainly hope visitors enjoy viewing the animations, they actually hope they enjoy viewing them so much that they decide to jump onboard and help make some of the animations.
"It's a very simple interaction where you just drag two squares around it and get a live preview and we also added a second mode where with 3D glasses you can create an anaglyph image so that you can get that actual 3D image," explains Vershbow.
To check out or create some of these images, visit stereo.nypl.org.