Sony Presents New Glasses Free 3D Tech, To Be Viewed Through a Gauzy Curtain
Company which claims that its 3D capable gadget does not require any special glasses to be worn is indeed taking a big risk. Take the case of Nintendo when they had come out with their hand held gaming console, 3DS which they claimed would not require any glasses to be worn for experiencing the 3D effect. In just nine months time the company suffered a loss of $591 million.
Sony have now come out with a computer in their Vaio Series line up that they claim won’t require wearing of special glasses to experience 3D effect.
It is since mid 1980 that there have been gadgets that use the autostereoscopic technology by which the gadget can display 3D image with no requirement for special eye wear. However, the gadgets have been far and few like that by Sharp and the camera by Fujifilm. Last year the Consumer Electronics event also had many such devices on display which were 3D capable with no glasses to be worn for viewing the 3D images.
The technology by which glasses make 3D possible is by shutting out the image to alternate eye as per requirement which is the active technology based sets. In case of passive 3D, the light is altered to each eye to give the 3D effect.
In case of Autostereoscopic technology the process is even more complex on which image is sent to the eye and which eye in particular. In case of the Sony computer in discussion, a webcam is used to detect the eyes and send images accordingly.
To calibrate the monitor there is a software that one has to use and to see the different image process that is used to give the 3D effect one can try out by closing one eye at a time during the calibration process. The user would notice a green or a red screen while doing this. This is how different images are displayed on screen to get the 3D effect. The biggest disadvantage though of this glasses free device from Sony is that only one viewer can use the system at a time and for each new user the screen would need to be recalibrated.
The software for calibration is X-Tune and Sony has created a special 3D portal where one can get some content to see. There are some applications also at the portal like Family Paint 3D by which one can render 3D graphics using the touchscreen of the monitor. 3D movies can be played with the CyberLink Power DVD software. For editing movies in 3D, Movie Studio HD Platinum is available in trial version which has been developed by Sony Vegas. 3D pictures can be viewed using the Nvidia 3D Vision Photo Viewer. For sharing content in 3D there is PlayMemories Home, which can also be used for editing 3D content.
Other restrictions that are placed on the user of the system when viewing in 3D is that the distance between screen and user is to be 60 to 80 cm. Also the user cannot move much for the camera would need to track the eye and then refresh the display which takes some time.
One has to also make sure the ambient lighting is proper as in low light the 3D effect is not there. Light source placed directly behind the screen works best in this case.
Over all viewing experience of 3D could be summed up as poor, for there is the pixilation that takes place as also the view seemed as if being filtered though a fine gauze.
It therefore can be tiring for the eye to adjust and view 3D on the screen.
The system comes preloaded with some photo in 3D format which when viewed on screen had even more fuzzy effect and on the whole the viewing experience was not good at all. The pre-installed 2D to 3D software does intercept some 2D and converts it to 3D but that too is not much standard.
As a first time product Sony has to be congratulated for taking the first step in this technological progress.It should be the first step towards progress of this technology to better times like what we see with the glasses dependent devices.
Other than the 3D feature the Vaio Series L has aCorei7 CPU and the display is touchscreen. The drive that came on the set for review was a 1.8 TB and RAM of 8 GB. It also has a Geoforce GT 640 M graphics card giving full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The screen is 24 inch and it also has HDMI ports along with 2 USB 3.0, a FireWire and a SD Card Slot.
Cost of the system is $1999 and Sony could have added a TV tuner also to make the price more attractive.
A similar desktop without the 3D feature is available for $1500 and therefore the high end cost of the Sony Vaio L series is not quite justified, given the poor 3D rendition. It is however a first step in the technological progress.