If you’ve ever wondered when the combined intelligence of humankind would one day solve the problem of how to enable several people to simultaneously look at a 3D image of a rubber duck, then wonder no more, for that day is at hand.

Salvation comes from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) under the unlikely name of gCubik [Japanese].

Duck in the box

The 10x10x10cm box contains LCD panels that are covered with lenses designed to project a pseudo-3D image that appears to be inside the box and which can be seen from any angle without special glasses.

Well, given that gCubik has panels on only half its six sides, it’s not exactly suitable for the duck-viewing jamboree NICT describes yet, but the next version will be fully LCD-ed up.

Designs on applications

Not only that, but it will also go wireless, probably enabling Wi-Fi hackers to beam all manner of joke objects onto the palms of unsuspecting duck watchers. We can only imagine the hilarity.

In case you’re wondering, NICT reckons gCubik could be used for industrial design, education and, possibly, gaming. It goes on show next month at the 3D Image Conference 2008 in Tokyo.