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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.

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Glasses-less 3D still has a long way to go

Yesterday, CNET Australia had a quick hands-on session with the Sony Vaio L Series desktop, the company's first glasses-less 3D computer or display. Our conclusion? Decidedly lukewarm.

First things first, despite the Vaio moniker, this Vaio isn't a laptop. It's an all-in-one PC-in-a-display, in the vein of HP's Touchsmart and Apple's iMac ranges.

Like the Touchsmart, the Vaio L incorporates a capacitive touchscreen, allowing users to interact with it via either the traditional keyboard and mouse or via the screen.

Unlike the others, the L Series also includes a glasses-less 3D feature where, instead of having to don the usual set of rather chunky specs, the computer is equipped with a forward-facing webcam that tracks the head and eyes of the main user, adjusting the 3D display automatically. This means that unlike some other glasses-less 3D setups, such as the Nintendo 3DS, you don't need to have your head and body fixed in the one place the entire time.

It sounds great in theory, but unfortunately, in the slightly dark and crowded environs of an inner-city restaurant, the computer on more than one occasion stopped tracking the main user, in favour of someone else or no-one at all. It had an even tougher time picking up my eyes behind my own spectacles.

Just as bad, in 3D mode, there's quite an obvious gap between the screen's pixels, creating a rather cheap-looking grid effect. And, as to be expected from a glasses-less 3D implementation, the 3D effect itself is several levels more subtle than spectacle-based solutions.

On balance, if we do end up recommending the Vaio L Series after performing a full review, it, probably, won't be based on its 3D capabilities, but on its other strengths. What it does show, though, is that glasses-less 3D still has a long way to go before it comes close to matching 3D implementations using active or passive glasses, and by then, people may not care anymore.



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ChristopheD posted a comment   

Sony's latest effort is only one approach to glasses-free 3D. Check out displays from manufacturers such as Alioscopy, Philips/Dimenco or Tridelity. They take very different approaches to glasses-free 3D compared to Sony. More expensive, but also much better.

On the contents side, look at Taodyne, they can help you build great interactive 3D content for this kind of screen. And we have solutions that are way better than touch for interacting with a 3D display (you don't want to put your fingers on a glasses-free 3D display, it breaks the picture).

 

ChristopheD posted a comment   

This is only one approach to glasses-free 3D. Check out displays from manufacturers such as Alioscopy, Philips/Dimenco or Tridelity. They take very different approaches to glasses-free 3D compared to Sony. More expensive, but also much better.

If you are looking to build

 

gregory.opera posted a comment   
Australia

Sony is right when they say that 3D is the future, but the world's electronics manufacturers need to move beyond existing technology and look towards the future... I'm talking things like holographic displays and projectors.

Yes it sounds like something out of the movies, but that's where the future of 3D is at and that is where the world's electronics manufacturers need to be throwing their money!




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