Matt Hirsch

MIT Media Lab

Camera Culture

Information Ecology

A little blurb about Matt Hirsch.

Dr. Hirsch is a co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Lumii. He worked with Henry Holtzman's Information Ecology Group and Ramesh Raskar's Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab, making the next generation of interactive and glasses-free 3D displays. Matthew received his bachelors from Tufts University in Computer Engineering, and his Masters and Doctorate from the MIT Media Lab. Between degrees, he worked at Analogic Corp. as an Imaging Engineer, where he advanced algorithms for image reconstruction and understanding in volumetric x-ray scanners. His work has been funded by the NSF and the Media Lab consortia, and has appeared in SIGGRAPH, CHI, and ICCP. Matthew has also taught courses at SIGGRAPH on a range of subjects in computational imaging and display, with a focus on DIY.

What are they doing now?

After graduating from the MIT Media Lab, Matt, along with co-founders Tom Baran and Daniel Leithinger created Lumii, to change the way we build displays. You can see a little demo of one of our light field display prototypes below.

Right now at Lumii you can print out a 3D Holiday Card on your home printer! Just go to It will look something like this when you're done with it.

MIT Media Lab Projects

Compressive Light Field Projector

Compressive Projector

For about a century, researchers and experimentalists have strived to bring glasses-free 3D experiences to the big screen. Much progress has been made and light field projection systems are now commercially available. Unfortunately, available display systems usually employ dozens of devices making such setups costly, energy inefficient, and bulky. We present a compressive approach to light field synthesis with projection devices. For this purpose, we propose a novel, passive screen design that is inspired by angle-expanding Keplerian telescopes. Combined with high-speed light field projection and nonnegative light field factorization, we demonstrate that compressive light field projection is possible with a single device. We build a prototype light field projector and angle-expanding screen from scratch, evaluate the system in simulation, present a variety of results, and demonstrate that the projector can alternatively achieve super-resolved and high dynamic range 2D image display when used with a conventional screen.

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Focus 3D

Focus3D Prototype

We present a glasses-free 3D display design with the potential to provide viewers with nearly correct accommodative depth cues, as well as motion parallax and binocular cues. Building on multilayer attenuator and directional backlight architectures, the proposed design achieves the high angular resolution needed for accommodation by placing spatial light modulators about a large lens: one conjugate to the viewer's eye, and one or more near the plane of the lens. Nonnegative tensor factorization is used to compress a high angular resolution light field into a set of masks that can be displayed on a pair of commodity LCD panels. By constraining the tensor factorization to preserve only those light rays seen by the viewer, we effectively steer narrow high resolution viewing cones into the user's eyes, allowing binocular disparity, motion parallax, and the potential for nearly correct accommodation over a wide field of view. We verify the design experimentally by focusing a camera at different depths about a prototype display, establish formal upper bounds on the design's accommodation range and diffraction-limited performance, and discuss practical limitations that must be overcome to allow the device to be used with human observers.

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ASP Light Field Camera

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We propose a flexible light field camera architecture that is at the convergence of optics, sensor electronics, and applied mathematics. Through the co-design of a sensor that comprises tailored, Angle Sensitive Pixels and advanced reconstruction algorithms, we show that—contrary to light field cameras today—our system can use the same measurements captured in a single sensor image to recover either a high-resolution 2D image, a low-resolution 4D light field using fast, linear processing, or a high-resolution light field using sparsity-constrained optimization.

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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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SIGGRAPH 2012 Paper » CGA 2012 Paper »

ISDH 2012 DOF » ISDH 2012 Real-Time »

ISDH 2012 Calibration »

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 »

Computational Displays

This course serves as an introduction to the emerging field of computational displays. The pedagogical goal of this course is to provide the audience with the tools necessary to expand their research endeavors by providing step-by-step instructions on all aspects of computational displays: display optics, mathematical analysis, efficient computational processing, computational perception, and, most importantly, the effective combination of all these aspects. Specifically, we will discuss a wide variety of different applications and hardware setups of computational displays, including high dynamic range displays, advanced projection systems as well as glasses-free 3D display. The latter example, computational light field displays, will be discussed in detail. In the course presentation, supplementary notes, and an accompanying website, we will provide source code that drives various display incarnations at real-time framerates, detailed instructions on how to fabricate novel displays from off-the-shelf components, and intuitive mathematical analyses that will make it easy for researchers with various backgrounds to get started in the emerging field of computational displays. We believe that computational display technology is one of the "hottest" topics in the graphics community today; with this course we will make it accessible for a diverse audience. While the popular, introductory-level courses "Build Your Own 3D Displays" and "Build Your Own Glasses-free 3D Display", previously taught at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH ASIA, discussed conventional 3D displays invented in the past, this course introduces what we believe to be the future of display technology. We will only briefly review conventional technology and focus on practical and intuitive demonstrations of how an interdisciplinary approach to display design encompassing optics, perception, computation, and mathematical analysis can overcome the limitations for a variety of applications.

Course Website »    @SIGGRAPH 2012 »

Hirsch, M., Wetzstein, G., & Raskar, R. (2014). A Compressive Light Field Projection System. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 33(4).
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.
Hirsch, M., Sivaramakrishnan, S., Jayasuriya, S., Wang, A., Molnar, A., Raskar, R., & Wetzstein, G. (2014, May). A switchable light field camera architecture with Angle Sensitive Pixels and dictionary-based sparse coding. In Computational Photography (ICCP), 2014 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 1-10). IEEE.
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.
Hirsch, M., Wetzstein, G., Raskar, R. “Methods and Apparatus for Light Field Projection,” Asignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States patent application US 20140300869 A1.
Wetzstein, G., Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., Raskar, R. “Tensor Displays,” Asignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States patent application US 2014/0063077 A1.
Lanman, D., Wetzstein, G., Hirsch, M., Heidrich, W., Raskar, R., “Polarization Fields: Dynamic Light Field Display using Multi-Layer LCDs,” Asignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States patent US 2013/0176704 A1.
Lanman, D., Hirsch, M., Kim, Y., Jakubczak, S., Raskar, R., “Content Adaptive Parallax Barriers for Automultiscopic Display,” Asignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States patent application US 2012/0140131 A1.
Hirsch, M. W., Raskar, R., Holtzman, H., Lanman, D., “Bi-Directional Screen,” Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States patent US 2011/0019056 A1.
Naidu, R., Ying, Z., Simanovsky, S., Hirsch, M. W., Crawford, C. R., “Method of and system for classifying objects using histogram segment features of multi-energy computed tomography images,” Assignee: Analogic Corporation, United States patent US 2007/0031036 A1.
Ying, Z., Naidu, R., Simanovsky, S., Hirsch, M. W., and Crawford, C. R., "Method of and system for classifying objects using local distributions of multi-energy computed tomography images," Assignee: Analogic Corporation, United States patent US 2007/0014472 A1.
Ying, Z., Hirsch, M. W., Desai, P., Simanovsky, S., and Crawford, C. R., "Method of and system for 3D display of multi-energy computed tomography slices," Assignee: Analogic Corporation, United States patent US 2006/0274066 A1.




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


This website uses twitter's Boostrap 3 CSS framework.


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.


We won Best Paper at the 2014 IEEE ICCP conference! Can you spot the authors in this gigapan?

This site was last updated on December 12, 2015.

Copyright © 2008-2014 Matt Hirsch