The Illusion Transmitter

The Illusion Transmitter

To sum up what this technology is, would be to call it early 3D technology.   We are now utilizing her techniques for our in home televisions among other up and coming new devices which are capable.  To be more technical, the illusion transmitter uses a concave mirror on the transmitting end as well as on the receiving end to produce optical illusion images.  A very technical process for what seems like something so simple and soon to be very common technology.

This technology was invented for and at NASAs headquarters but is the initial premise for how 3D technology works.  What this patent does (the process) which is different from a holograph as it is an illusion transmitter, is it creates an optical illusion by placing parabolic mirrors that are conceived to create a parallax view of the subject which appears 3-dimensional to viewers.  Parallax view – The effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions.  What she did was take the various views of the view created and rendered an “illusion” or in more basic terms, created the first 3D technology.  While this was first used for observing Haley’s Comet and other space phenomena, the process quickly became something NASA used and continues to use to analyze images of distant entities in space in a 3-dimensional illusionated view.  The transition of this into our everyday lives can be seen in the new and ever improving television sets which the majority of western culture has.  Technology that is being utilized in our space exploration also has implications and uses for our everyday lives.  The 3D technology/illusion transmitter is just one of NASAs other different technologies that are utilized for everyday use as our culture has progressed.

Here is what the actual Patent diagram looks like:

It was in the Late 70’s where her experiments with flat mirrors and concave mirrors led her to her ultimate discovery of the Illusion Transmitter.  How does it work exactly?  It’s a very difficult concept to see on paper in technical terms, but when you actually think about what it is achieving (and how simple it is) it really is a pretty ingenious idea.  How it works: Flat mirrors, provide a reflection of an object that is behind the glass surface (this is our everyday mirror). A concave mirror house presents a reflection that appears to exist in front of the glass which is what ultimately creates the 3D look or illusion. Thomas used these images she created to hopefully provide a more accurately of showing data. The process was initially viewed and used for NASA, but she was not quick to realize the commercial potential for the 3D illusion/delivery process.

Although 3D technology is traced back to the beginning of photography, “In 1844 David Brewster invented the Stereoscope. It was a new invention that could take photographic images in 3D” it was The Illusion Transmitter that really paved the way for 3D anime and film to achieve what Illusionist Photographers had been achieving in years prior.  This illusion shows multiple images combined to show a 3d effect when used with special viewing lenses or 3D glasses– the same idea essentially behind the Illusion Transmitter.


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