Tulsa Company Moving Forward In 3D

Friday, April 17th 2009, 4:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- 3DIcon, a Tulsa company, is working to change the way we all use technology.
The company is developing a new way to view images. Officials there say the future is in 3-D.

Martin Keating and Hakki Refai say they are on the verge of shaking up the world of technology and it all starts with a little green cup. It's a 3-D image generated by more than 3 million micro mirrors.

Keating, Refai and a team of 50 developed the technology in their lab at University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.

"We can't think of a business or industry that wouldn't use it," said Martin Keating, 3DIcon CEO.

Keating points to a demonstration of potential applications; instead of the traditional two dimensional image, an army can use the 3-D image to get a real world view.

Keating says it's only the beginning.

"Architects can use it to put buildings on empty lots. Car dealers can show the brand new car. You take the car home, put it in your garage but it doesn't exist," said Keating.

3-D imagery has been around for years. CNN used a similar version during the presidential election to "beam" a reporter into the studio, only anchor Wolf Blitzer wasn't actually seeing the reporter, he was just looking to a spot in the room.

Movies have tried to use the technology on a number of occasions. The most recent is Monsters Vs. Aliens. But Keating says the movie and CNN's attempt are not true 3-D, only an illusion.

"You're not looking at a 3-D object, your eye is being fooled," said Keating.

Their 3-D cup is what Keating and Refai say separate their technology from others.

"Besides there's no moving parts inside the display you can walk around the image space and view the 3-D image from all sides," said Hakki Refai, Chief Technology Officer.

The best part of all, they say, this revolutionary step is not coming from Silicon Valley, but in Tulsa.

Martin Keating started 3DIcon in 2000 and the technology to produce the 3-D image is only three years old, but he says it could eventually become a trillion dollar business.