The 3D area at this year's Cebit failed to impress by size alone. Apart from Nintendo showing off its 3DS, merely a few companies were showing their goods. Nonethless, a few rather interesting technologies were being shown, most of them featuring autosteroscopic large-sized panels.
Tridelity demonstrated its rather large 3D billboards showing various ads and medical imaging. Not only was Budweiser being advertised, but Cebit visitors could also see hearts and brains flying in their face. Most of the visitors were rather impressed by what they saw.
Nonetheless, it was naturally necessary to stand in the right place to view the image correctly, shown by green doormats lying on the floor. A consumer-grade product based on the company's tech sitting behind the panel may be hitting the market end of the year.
Two other German companies, SeeFront and ACL, were sharing a booth to display their autostereoscopic tech featuring face tracking cameras mounted beneath the panel. The stereo image is changed using an algorithm and computed by a GPU's pixel shaders, not by moving lenticular lenses.
ACL and SeeFront service the higher-end professional markets, for instance hospitals buying displays for their operating rooms, yet a spokesperson told Techeye they were partnering with a large Asian consumer electronics company to put the technology into a consumer-grade product. No further details were revealed, it might or not be a notebook.
Yet another German company, Visenso, showed it's cyber classroom tech. It required shutter glasses, 3D images could be dragged and swirled around using a Wii-mote. Certainly a lot nicer for teaching than just a chalkboard and a pointer.
In the consumer arena, Asus was showing off the G53 SW 3D, a high-powered non-notebook with eye-tracking tech to keep the picture in line with head movement. The CPU is an Intel core i7 2630QM. It of course doesn't feature Intel graphics, but an Nvidia GTX460. Memory is 15GB, the card packs 1.5GB. Anyone willing to lug around 3.83 kilogrammes and the necessary cash, please join the line.
Nintendo's 3DS was rather nice, Pro Evolution Soccer was tested and ran very smoothly in 3D. In contrast to the prototype viewed at Gamescom end of August last year, the 3D effect didn't annoy all maxed up, but then it was also a different game. TechEye will be receiving a test unit to put through its paces mid of March.
Gadget maker Aiptek naturally also had it's newest generation of stuff on display, a 3D camera with a weeny wee autostereoscopic display and a 3D camcorder. Resolution was far higher than what was on display last year, making a lot of kids happier. On a side note, Aiptek's latest generation of pico beamers have evolved to a state where they actually are usable. "Ponyo on a Cliff" looked rather decent projected against a wall in a dark boothlet.
3D is going to stay interesting, at least for people with good eyes - a double-digit percentage of people can't see 3D, another high percentage get seasick. Nonetheless, there ought to be more than enough consumers willing to shell out a premium for 3D.