Matt Hirsch

MIT Media Lab

Camera Culture

Information Ecology

A little blurb about Matt Hirsch.

Matthew is a Ph.D. student at the MIT Media Lab, working with Henry Holtzman's Information Ecology Group and Ramesh Raskar's Camera Culture Group. He is making the next generation of interactive and glasses-free 3D displays. Matthew graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and worked from 2004 to 2007 at Analogic Corp. as an Imaging Engineer, where he designed threat detection algorithms for Computed Tomography security scanners. In 2009 Matthew was awarded a Masters of Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. His work has been funded by the NSF and the Media Lab consortia, and has appeared in SIGGRAPH, CHI, and ICCP.

8D Display

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Imagine a display that behaves like a window. Glancing through it, viewers perceive a virtual 3D scene with correct parallax, without the need to wear glasses or track the user. Light that passes through the display correctly illuminates the virtual scene. We contribute a new, interactive, relightable, glasses-free 3D display. By simultaneously capturing a 4D light field, and displaying a 4D light field, we are able to realistically modulate the incident light on rendered content. Our hardware points the way towards novel 3D interfaces, in which users interact with digital content using light widgets, physical objects, and gesture.

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Tensor Display

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We introduce tensor displays: a family of glasses-free 3D displays comprising all architectures employing (a stack of) time-multiplexed LCDs illuminated by uniform or directional backlighting. We introduce a unified optimization framework that encompasses all tensor display architectures and allows for optimal glasses-free 3D display.

We demonstrate the benefits of tensor displays by constructing a reconfigurable prototype using modified LCD panels and a custom integral imaging backlight. Our efficient, GPU-based NTF implementation enables interactive applications. In our experiments we show that tensor displays reveal practical architectures with greater depths of field, wider fields of view, and thinner form factors, compared to prior automultiscopic displays.

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Polarization Fields

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We introduce polarization field displays as an optically-efficient design for dynamic light field display using multi-layered LCDs. Such displays consist of a stacked set of liquid crystal panels with a single pair of crossed linear polarizers. Each layer is modeled as a spatially-controllable polarization rotator, as opposed to a conventional spatial light modulator that directly attenuates light.We demonstrate interactive display using a GPU-based SART implementation supporting both polarization-based and attenuation-based architectures. Experiments characterize the accuracy of our image formation model, verifying polarization field displays achieve increased brightness, higher resolution, and extended depth of field, as compared to existing automultiscopic display methods for dual-layer and multi-layer LCDs.

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High-Rank 3D

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Today's 3D display are not only light deficient, but rank deficient. We have developed a 3D display that eliminates the need for special glasses, while solving both light and rank deficiency. Until now, the commercial potential of glasses-free 3D displays, particularly those based on liquid crystal displays (LCDs), has been primarily limited by decreased image resolution and brightness compared to systems employing special eyewear.

In the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab, we have found a way to increase the brightness and resolution of LCD-based, glasses-free 3D displays using a method they call Content-Adaptive Parallax Barriers. We call our new display technology High-Rank 3D or HR3D, since our display is capable of displaying a full-resolution light field.

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BiDi Screen

The BiDi Screen is an example of a new type of I/O device that possesses the ability to both capture images and display them. This thin, bidirectional screen extends the latest trend in LCD devices, which has seen the incorporation of photo-diodes into every display pixel. Using a novel optical masking technique developed at the Media Lab, the BiDi Screen can capture lightfield-like quantities, unlocking a wide array of applications from 3-D gesture interaction with CE devices, to seamless video communication.

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MIT 100K 2011


I participated in the 2011 MIT 100K Competition with Tiago Wright and Vikrham Anreddy. Our entry, Sensaction, was based on the BiDi Screen project, which was my Masters Thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.

We won the Mobile Track!

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Bike Commute Archive

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A Media Lab researcher has been kind enough to share his daily bicycle commute for research and entertainment purposes. These videos are offered under a creative commons license. The archive covers about 2.5 years of commuting.

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Twitter Laundry

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This page describes how we turned some electronic junk we found in a spare parts bin into a twittering waching machine and dryer. With any luck, twitter will one day be filled entirely with the banal updates of machines.

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Kaidan Turntable

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The Kaidan Magellan Turntable (MDT-19) is a motorized turntable originally intended for scientific imaging. We have one of these in the Camera Culture group, which has been passed down from generation to generation, and mostly neglected along the way. Here I host some python code to get the table running again.

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Tweeting Raticator

Project Image

Tackling the rat problem in Somerville's Union Square, one Zap at a time. The The Raticator is an electric rodent trap. In this project I use the Twine and Twine breakout board to make the Raticator post its kills to a Twitter feed, and a custom web site. I include Python CGI code, with an extension to allow caching of Twitter results.

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Build Your Own 3D Display

This course provides attendees with the mathematics, software, and practical details they need to build their own low-cost stereoscopic displays. Each new concept is illustrated using a practical 3D display implemented with off-the-shelf parts. First, the course explains glasses-bound stereoscopic displays and provides detailed plans for attendees to construct their own LCD shutter glasses. Then the course explains unencumbered auto-multiscopic displays, including step-by-step directions to construct lenticular and parallax-barrier designs using modified LCDs. All the necessary software, including algorithms for rendering and calibration, is provided for each example, so attendees can quickly construct 3D displays for their own educational, amusement, and research purposes.

Course Website »     @SIGGRAPH 2010 »

@SIGGRAPH Asia 2010

Build Your Own Glasses-Free 3D Display

At SIGGRAPH 2010, the Build Your Own 3D Display course demonstrated how to construct both LCD shutter glasses and glasses-free lenticular screens, providing Matlab-based code for batch encoding of 3D imagery. This follow-up course focuses more narrowly on glasses-free displays, describing in greater detail the practical aspects of real-time, OpenGL-based encoding for such multi-view, spatially multiplexed displays.

The course reviews historical and perceptual aspects, emphasizing the goal of achieving disparity, motion parallax, accommodation, and convergence cues without glasses. It summarizes state-of-the-art methods and areas of active research. And it provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to construct a lenticular display. The course concludes with an extended question-and-answer session, during which prototype hardware is available for inspection.

Course Website »     @SIGGRAPH 2011 »

Hirsch, M., Lanman, D., Holtzman, H., & Raskar, R. (2009, December). BiDi screen: a thin, depth-sensing LCD for 3D interaction using light fields. In ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) (Vol. 28, No. 5, p. 159). ACM
Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., Kim, Y., & Raskar, R. (2010, December). Content-adaptive parallax barriers: optimizing dual-layer 3D displays using low-rank light field factorization. In ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) (Vol. 29, No. 6, p. 163). ACM.
Wetzstein, G., Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., & Raskar, R. (2012). Tensor displays: compressive light field synthesis using multilayer displays with directional backlighting. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 31(4), 80.
Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., Heidrich, W., & Raskar, R. (2011, December). Polarization fields: dynamic light field display using multi-layer LCDs. In ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) (Vol. 30, No. 6, p. 186). ACM.
Maimone, A., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., Lanman, D., Raskar, R., & Fuchs, H. (2013). Focus 3D: compressive accommodation display. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 32(5), 153.
Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., Heidrich, W., & Raskar, R. (2012, February). Beyond parallax barriers: applying formal optimization methods to multilayer automultiscopic displays. In Proc. SPIE (Vol. 8288, p. 82880A).
Hirsch, M., Izadi, S., Holtzman, H., & Raskar, R. (2012, November). 8D display: a relightable glasses-free 3D display. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM international conference on Interactive tabletops and surfaces (pp. 319-322). ACM.
Hirsch, M., Izadi, S., Holtzman, H., & Raskar, R. (2013, April). 8d: interacting with a relightable glasses-free 3d display. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2209-2212). ACM.
Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., & Raskar, R. (2013, February). Depth of Field Analysis for Multilayer Automultiscopic Displays. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 415, No. 1, p. 012036). IOP Publishing.
Wetzstein, G., Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., & Raskar, R. (2013, February). Real-time Image Generation for Compressive Light Field Displays. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 415, No. 1, p. 012045). IOP Publishing.
Hirsch, M., Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., & Raskar, R. (2013, February). Construction and Calibration of Optically Efficient LCD-based Multi-Layer Light Field Displays. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 415, No. 1, p. 012071). IOP Publishing.
Karbeyaz, B. U., Naidu, R. C., Ying, Z., Simanovsky, S. B., Hirsch, M. W., Schafer, D. A., & Crawford, C. R. (2008). Variable Pitch Reconstruction Using John's Equation. Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on, 27(7), 897-906.
Wetzstein, G., Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., Raskar, R. (2013). Tensor Displays. U.S. Patent Application 13/736,769.
Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., Heidrich, W., & Raskar, R. (2012). Polarization Fields. U.S. Patent Application 13/689,631. (Issuing 2014)
Hirsch, M., Raskar, R., Holtzman, H., & Lanman, D. (2009). Bi-Directional Screen. U.S. Patent Application 12/622,752. (Issuing 2014)
Naidu, R., Karbeyaz, B. U., Ying, Z., Simanovsky, S., Hirsch, M., Schafer, D., & Crawford, C. R. (2010). U.S. Patent No. 7,724,866. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.




The best way to get in touch with me is email.


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The theme for this site is based heavily on the How to Integrate Simple Parallax with Twitter Bootstrap tutorial offered by Otherwise, they had nothing to do with this, so don't blame my lack of style on them! Thanks for being awesome and sharing!

Class Projects

This is a list of a few class projects I've done with interesting results.

Magnetic Field Imaging Using CT Techniques

A project to image a magnetic field using backprojection. Project page.

Social TV Posters

For some years Henry Holtzman taught a class on Social Television. These are the posters I made for that class. Works of genius, every one, I can assure you.

Computational Imaging

Here are a couple of homework assignments from Ramesh Raskar's computational imaging class.


This site was last updated on February 28, 2014.

Copyright © 2008-2014 Matt Hirsch