Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Marylynne Pitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For 16 years, Stephen Blumenthal owned Gallagher Home Electronics in Ithaca, N.Y., that region’s largest independent electronic sales and service company.

After selling the business in 2005, he began working with physics and optics experts at Cornell University. Over the last 16 years, he has become a successful inventor.

In 2013, he obtained a U.S. patent on a three-dimensional television technology that viewers can use without wearing special glasses and that they can adjust for their own comfort and space. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Rembrandt 3D, a company based in Ithaca.

Ken Love, a local filmmaker who documented the last days of pressmen working at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Downtown building, will show “Letterpress RIP” on Rembrandt 3D televisions Saturday at 1 p.m. on the main floor of Carnegie Library’s main branch in Oakland. Mr. Blumenthal’s company is providing the television screens for the premiere. The company also provided hundreds of hours of in-kind services so the film could be made.

“My orientation has always been the scientific standards for broadcast quality,” Mr. Blumenthal said in a telephone interview. He invented 3DFusion technology. He also is credited with inventing the first dedicated 3D stereoscopic video microscope and the first high magnification stereoscopic 3D microscope.

Earlier versions of three-dimensional televisions were not popular for good reason, he said.

“If it hurts your eyes, if it makes you sick, it’s a non-starter. My patent provides the camera man or the studio director or the consumer in his home with the ability to fix the picture to his environment and his visual issues. Or if you have 3 or 4 or 5 or 10 people you can adjust the throw distance so that everybody gets a perfect picture.

Mr. Blumenthal also worked with Leica and Zeiss, the two oldest makers of microscopes and optics in the world.

Later, he became involved with Royal Philips, a company in Holland that has a major medical division.

“They were developing the 3D no glasses technology,” Mr. Blumenthal said.

That technology, Mr. Blumenthal said, uses a black and white depth map that is mathematically based.

“It is math-based in an encrypted format. It is able be re-rendered with every frame of video. With each frame, the depth map is recreated. It makes the 3D image adjustable in real time, the same way you would adjust color or volume on a regular television.

“That patent provides the capacity to make the image adjustable.”

He will be among the panelists who will discuss the film and the technology used to make it at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the International Poetry Room on the second floor of Carnegie Library’s main Oakland branch.

That adjustability, Mr. Blumenthal said, “was a huge breakthrough. It also meant that the image could be calibrated to be geospatially accurate for scientific applications, for military weapons, drones or observation.

“Philips developed it in the mid-90s. I was lucky enough to be involved at Philips.”

Marylynne PItz: mpitz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1648 or Twitter:@mpitzpg