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Unblinking Eye
Stereo Madness
Stereo Madness

Eric Beggs (Photon Wrangler, left) Gary Nored (Mr. Stereo, center), and Ed Buffaloe (Unblinking Eye, right) view Gary's marvellous stereo slides on his Stereo Vivid Deluxe projector, deep in the heart of Austin, Texas.

Unbeknownst to many, Austin has a thriving stereo community.  There is an informal group of stereo enthusiasts that meets every third Thursday at the Howson branch of the Austin Public Library, 24th and Exposition, at 7 PM.

Stereo photography has a long and honorable tradition.  Eric tells me that the oldest photographic society in existence is a stereo society founded in 1856 (I will try to find the name and a link eventually).  Stereo made a comeback in the 1950's with the advent of the Stereo Realist camera and color slide film.  The stereo Vivid projector pictured above projects dual images, each one polarized differently, such that if one wears glasses with polarizing filters that are properly aligned one sees a remarkably vivid and lifelike three dimensional image.

Stereo enthusiasts believe that the world is on the verge of another 3-D comeback, particularly in light of the on-going convergence of media and computer technology.  Now it is feasible to make LCD stereo glasses that would enable one to see one's computer "desktop" in three dimensions.  Manufacturers have yet to realize the potential, but all the fundamental technologies are currently in place.  Soon we will do away with bulky and eye-straining computer monitors and will simply wear headsets that will give immediate access to a virtual three dimensional world.

According to John C. Dvorak (in PC Magazine, July 1999, p. 87), Olympus and Sony are both now manufacturing "virtual-screen glasses" that allow one to see a 60-inch virtual monitor.  The obvious next step is to make each eye a separate channel for 3-D stereo viewing.

[See the links page for some links to stereo sites.]  

The Amazing Stereoroid
Stereo Enthusiasts

Another group of stereo enthusiasts, with two Stereo Vivid deluxe projectors in evidence.
 

Click the images to enlarge.

Gary Nored (right) admires his new Stereoroid camera while chief engineer Eric Young (unique@fc.net) looks on.  The amazing Stereoroid holds two Polaroid Land cameras which take simultaneous 2-1/4X3-1/2" prints.  The two instant prints are mounted in a standard stereo viewer for immediate viewing.

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