ImmersaDesk 4

A Passive Stereo Virtual Reality System Using Circularly Polarized High Resolution LCD Panels

Jason Leigh, Cristian Luciano, Greg Dawe, Andrew Johnson, Thomas A. DeFanti

Version: April 12, 2005
Revised Version: November 11, 2005

ResearchGear ID: 20050412_leigh

The ImmersaDesk 4 (IDesk4) is built from 2 Apple 30" 2560x1600 LCD panels mounted with quarter-wave plates in front of the LCD panels to achieve circular polarization. The LCD panels are bisected by a half-silvered mirror which reverses the polarization of the top LCD panel. The circular polarization facilitates viewing stereoscopic images even while the head is tilted. An optional 3D position and orientation tracking system can be attached to allow the computer graphics to project the correct viewer-centered stereoscopic imagery based on the user's head position and orientation.

Further details can be found in this paper.

Copyright for this design belongs to Jason Leigh, Cristian Luciano, Greg Dawe, Andrew Johnson, and Thomas A. DeFanti of  the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2005).

Parts List (for display only)

  • 1 x Frame
    • Cost: ~ $650
  • 1 x Mirror
    • Spectrafilm MLBS 40 half-silvered mirror;
    • Source: Denglas Technologies [contact: Leslie Aharon -]
    • Edge work required: Seamed
    • Dimensions: 21"x38"x6mm
    • Cost: ~$320 for glass, ~$100 for crate
    • Lead Time: 4-6 weeks
    • Shipping: ~$742 (ships by freight in large wooden crate)
  • 2 x Quarter-wave plate
    • Acrylic Laminated Quarterwave Retarder;
    • Source: American Polarizer [contact: Les Fasnacht -]
    • Retardance: 140nm
    • Fast Axis: 45 degrees
    • Dimensions: 18"x27"x0.070"
    • Lead Time: 3 weeks
    • Cost: $600 each
  • 2 x LCD Displays
    • 30" Apple Cinema Displays
    • Source:
    • Cost: $2200 each
  • 2 x Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter Kit (from Apple)
    • Source:
    • Cost: $30 each
  • 2 x Mounts for attaching Vesa mount to frame
    • Premier Mounts PRF (Prestige Flat-Panel Ultra Flat Mount) - SKU# PM 1140
    • Specs:
      • Allows you to mount your flat-panel display very close to the wall for a clean look
      • Stands off the wall less than 1-1/4", depending on the particular display
      • Wall plate measures 5.75" W X 4.75" H X .75" D
      • Weight capacity: 50 lbs.
    • Cost: $32 each
  • Approximate Total Cost of Display System: $7536
  • Other parts needed:
    • Quadro FX 4400 or 4500 graphics card plugged into a PC of your choice.
    • Circularly polarized glasses (~$15 per pair for decent reusable plastic ones)
  • Questions, Comments, Discussions


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