Sony's Spatial Reality Display: Responsive, no-glasses 3D on your desk
Sony has debuted a new kind of 3D monitor with its Spatial Reality Display, which tracks your eyes and shows a different dynamically-generated image for each eye to give you a small, single-viewer window into a three-dimensional world.
We've seen a few different ways to build 3D hologram-style images that let users move around to gain different perspectives on objects. Queensland company Euclideon makes responsive, multi-user 3D tables and arcade machines that track several pairs of frequency-separation crystal glasses to generate dynamically changing stereo images as you move around a space. South Australia's Voxon Photonics takes a different approach, building volumetric voxel-based images that are projected onto a rapidly oscillating screen to create a floating 3D image in the air.
Sony's new creation, the ELF-SR1, is more in line with the 3D dash displays we're starting to see in high-end cars. It uses a micro-optical lens over its 15.6-inch display to split an image into left-and right-eye perspectives. Then it uses a "high-speed vision sensor" to track your eye positions at millisecond frequency, so the display can generate a slightly different image for each.
The screen dynamically adapts the image in real time as you move around, allowing movements 25 degrees left and right, 20 degrees up and 40 degrees down at distances between 30-75 cm (12-30 in). And the effect is that you get a 3D image you can move around to get different views on.
What's it good for? Well, filmmaking, game design, graphic design and engineering can all benefit from the ability to look at things from a dynamic and intuitive perspective. And certainly product design; anything where an end product can be previewed.
"At Volkswagen, we've been evaluating Sony's Spatial Reality Display from its early stages, and we see considerable usefulness and multiple applications throughout the ideation and design process, and even with training," commented Frantisek Zapletal, Virtual Engineering Lab US, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
At this stage, it's compatible with Sony's own SDK, as well as Unity and Unreal Engine, making it accessible to or importable from a range of different 3D environments. It's not ready for prime time yet as a home display, partially due to lack of content and partially thanks to a US$4,999 price tag. Orders will open in November.
Check out a video below.