Danny Mattijetz is my first cousin on my mother’s side of the family. The Mattijetz family was a close knit family so we saw each other often as we grew up. We continued to stay in touch. Recently, we both started posting on Facebook, and that is where Danny found out I was looking for Wends who had been awarded patents. Danny contacted me and told me that he had been awarded a patent. The search was on, and I found his patent.
Danny’s patent is number US 6,330,107 B1 and is titled “Multi-image display screen”. Danny has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from California State University in Los Angeles (Cal State LA), and used his knowledge to develop his idea. Danny designed a lens and screen system that used his knowledge of light and optical refraction to make a 2 dimensional image appear to be 3 dimensional. Danny submitted his design to the US Patent Office on March 4, 1999 and was awarded his patent on December 11, 2001. In an email, Danny told me “it was a fun project that probably would have worked, but it cost more and more money to pursue, so I finally gave it up. The end result would have been a television that could produce 3D without glasses or any other viewer.” Below is Danny’s description of his design.
“The screen is actually a sheet of individual lenses. Each lens consists of a hemispherical top part and an even smaller spherical section for the bottom part. Both the top and the bottom have a common center. The center of the hemisphere is easy to visualize, but that center also works for the bottom curve. The bottom curve has a radius twice the length of the hemisphere. The results are that a light entering the hemisphere from any direction is focused on the bottom curve. The reverse is also true and is actually more interesting. Light emanating from the bottom curve toward the top hemisphere is focused into a narrow beam leaving the hemisphere sort of like a flashlight. The focal point on the bottom sphere is not a true focal point, but is sort of blurred. That is because a sphere does not have one single focal point. It does come pretty close though, and I found I was able to resolve points on the bottom curve that were only about three degrees wide. This is a lot easier to explain with a picture and a lot of finger pointing. My expectation was to layer the bottom curve with LED’s that were no larger than 3 degrees wide for a single LED. The entire surface of the bottom curve would be covered by as many LED’s as would fit. That would be somewhere around 300. By lighting a specific LED, I could create a beam of light shining away from the top side in 300 different directions. By having thousands of these little lenslets next to each other, and by lighting the LED in the next lenslet in the same position as the previous lenslet, these LED’s become pixels for one picture that can only be viewed from one specific angle. By selecting a different LED on all the lenslets, I can create a different picture that would be viewed at a different angle. In this way, I can control what is viewed by each eye within the angle of resolution. That would probably be no more than about ten feet. As long as you were ten feet or less from the screen, each of your eyes could see a different picture. If you control that carefully enough, that would be enough to present the illusion of three dimensions.
The diagram in the patent is laid out horizontally, I think. Imagine setting it up vertically and using it like a television screen. Regardless of whether your eye was up, down, left or right from any single lenslet, you could resolve up to approximately 300 different positions. That means you could move around the screen and see objects that appeared close to you just as you could if it had been a real object.
Now, I’m sure your head is probably spinning right now from all that description. Don’t worry, it’s not you. It is difficult to grasp without the diagrams to study carefully. I originally had a marble on a protractor that I used to determine experimentally how small an angle I could resolve. … Anyway, it was a fun project that probably would have worked, but it cost more and more money to pursue, so I finally gave it up. The end result would have been a television that could produce 3D without glasses or any other viewer.”
Danny is a great grandson of Andreas Mattijetz who was awarded six patents between 1888 and 1898. He is married to Theresa Samstag Mattijetz. Danny and Theresa raised two daughters, Jeanine and Diane. Danny worked for Southern California Edison for twenty seven years, and later returned as a contractor for an additional two years. He has many talents and in retirement started sculpting. His sculptures are amazing and can be seen at www.dtmattijetz.wix.com/aspect-sculpting. Below is a link to his patent.