In a prior article I talked about attempting to develop a plano-stereoscopic display system classification. The chart reproduced here is the fruit of that labor. A plano-stereoscopic display is one that uses two images to produce a stereoscopic effect. There are other kinds of stereoscopic systems, for example, autostereoscopic systems that may use multiple views.
The chart can cover, I believe, all plano-stereoscopic display systems without regard to type. It is based on the physics of the devices rather than on how particular gadgets work, so it is possible to classify any system. Any knowledgeable worker in the field (hopefully) would fill in the boxes identically. But if they had a disagreement it would be a good basis for a discussion.
Here’s how it works: In the case of the Real D system you can see that I use two major categories for classification: display type (one or two machines), and selection technology. Selection technology falls into three major categories: light, sequence, and optics, and each one of those is broken into two other categories. In the case of the Real D cinema system, which depends on the Texas Instruments DMD light engine, I classify it as a single display type using both polarized light and a temporal sequence for image selection.
Taking a look at another product, the 35mm anaglyph print system, this is a single display type using color for image selection. Theme park 70mm, or IMAX films, for that matter, use double projection and polarized light for image selection. Another system: The Brewster stereoscope is a double system. It has two channels. In other words, it uses spatial selection and also refraction for the eyes to accommodate.
I believe that using this chart allows one to classify any plano-stereoscopic display system. It brings us one step closer to having a common nomenclature when discussing this art.