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Monday, July 21, 2008

The next big Thing, 3D Monitors and Virtual Reality

3d graphic applications and devices able to visualize the third dimension on a two dimensional screen is one of the next big things that come to home entertainment and information technology. For 3d visualization there are a couple of different approaches and technologies available and in development. A great example of the future impact of 3d technologies is Cities in 3D by Google, which enables 3d visualizations at Google Earth.

3d is already a reality at the software level. 3d graphic software applications are used at 3d chats, virtual reality worlds and for industrial applications. Some of them are even free and open source like 3DMLW and Blender.

A further level is the interaction between real and virtual worlds. These applications enable to capture the real world and do enable the interaction with a computer or machines. This is something that will be useful for entertainment and gaming, conferencing and other purposes. At gaming for example a backround might become erased and the gamer becomes visible within the gaming environment. This is what 3DV Systems and Prime Sense aim to do. How this works is shown in a video at Handsfree 3D, who have developed a prototype interface for Second Life based on the 3DV Systems application.

And there are 3d monitors, which simply enable a great and more comfortable viewing experience by displaying real life images. If you have the chance to visit a fair of consumer electronics you should have a look for 3d monitors. SeeReal Technologies is a supplier of such technologies. Personally I have not seen such displays in a store for now, but I read a press release lately by iZ3D, a manufacturer of 3d monitors about their distribution plans: iZ3D Expands into the Global Retail Market with 3D Monitors.

For up to date information about 3d monitors you may look at websites of consumer electronics trade fairs or visit one. The next big trade show I know will be the IFA in Berlin.

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