My initial impression of the 3-D display, once we saw it demonstrated, was one of disbelief. The display seemed like something out of Star Trek, especially with its glossy black frame and bright colors. The future is here.
During normal day-to-day usage, the monitor’s specialized nature becomes quite apparent. Several quirks related to the product’s design make it somewhat impractical for generalized use. Typically, a user with dual displays might “park” less pertinent documents and applications on the secondary monitor while they are not in use. The same activity on the MLD’s dual displays creates an interesting effect. Any windows with dark pixel features in the foreground are going to overshadow any graphics in the background, but the background’s pixels remain visible. This leads to a feeling of “depth clutter,” and even though the two layers are clearly distinguishable in a stereoscopic way, it is quite a distraction to both layers to have any overlapping information. My personal suggestion going forward (if it is in any way technologically feasible; I don’t know, I am not a scientist) would be to develop and include an LCD capable of displaying both RGB and opaque white, as a method of obscuring the background graphics with the foreground LCD.
Another unfortunate side effect of the Puredepth design is the blurring / darkening effect on the background display. The foreground LCD—even if set to a blank, white (transparent) image—slightly blurs and shadows the image of the background LCD. I truly cannot think of a workaround for this type of problem; it’s essentially a casualty of the setup. Unless at some point we are able to create LCDs that are truly transparent, this will most likely always be the case with a display of this nature. If the MLD was to include more than just two displays, the depth effect would be more dramatic, but the blurring and shadowing would increase exponentially as the layers increased.
In cases where the accuracy of the color and sharpness of the image on the background display is not critical, this hardly makes a difference, especially for entertainment purposes or something like a live video feed. However, Puredepth uses the example of graphic artists in their advertising, stating that “graphic artists can use the top transparent display for palettes, and the back window for editing.” In its present incarnation, the MLD is unsuitable for such a purpose, as the rear layer’s clarity and color accuracy are both diminished dramatically by the inclusion of a layer in front. However, if future revisions would improve this issue, their idea would certainly hold water.