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Acer Goes Massive on Glasses-Free, 3D Displays—Look Out, VR

Acer, the world’s fifth largest PC model, needs to take the rising AR/VR market by the horns with its SpatialLabs glasses-free stereoscopic 3D shows.

First teased in 2021 in a variant of Acer’s ConceptD 7 laptop, the technology expands this summer time in a pair of moveable screens, the SpatialLabs View and View Professional, and choose Acer Predator gaming laptops. The launch is paired with AI-powered software program for changing current 2D content material into stereoscopic 3D.

“We see a convergence of virtual and reality,” Jane Hsu, Head of Business Development for SpatialLabs, mentioned in an interview. “It’s a different form for users to start interacting with a virtual world.”Glasses-free stereoscopic 3D isn’t new.

Evolutionary, not revolutionary

The technology has powered a number of area of interest merchandise and prototypes, such as Sony’s Spatial Reality Display, however its most well-known debut was Nintendo’s 3DS moveable sport console.

The 3DS filtered two photos by a show layer known as a parallax barrier. This barrier managed the angle a picture reached the consumer’s eyes to create the 3D impact. As a result of angle was necessary, the 3DS used cameras that detected the consumer’s eyes and adjusted the picture to compensate for viewing angle.

“The PC in 2022 is encountering a lot of problems.”
—Jerry Kao, Acer

Acer’s technology is analogous. It additionally shows two photos that are filtered by an “optical layer” and has cameras to trace and compensate for the consumer’s viewing angle.

So, what’s completely different this time?

“The fundamental difference is that the computing power is way different, and resolution is way different,” mentioned Hsu. “The Nintendo, that was 800 x 240. In a sense, the technology is the same, but over time it has improved for a crystal-clear, high-resolution experience.”

Decision is necessary to this type of glasses-free 3D. As a result of it renders two photos to create the 3D impact, the decision of the show is minimize in half on the horizontal axis when 3D is on. The 3DS minimize decision to 400 x 240 when 3D was on and blurry visuals have been a common complaint among critics.

Acer’s SpatialLabs laptops and shows are a giant enchancment. Every supplies native 4K (3,840 x 2,160 decision) in 2D. That’s forty-three instances the pixel rely of Nintendo’s 3DS. Turning 3D on shaves decision to 1,920 x 2,160, which, whereas decrease, remains to be sharper than a 27-inch 4K monitor.

Hsu says developments in AI compute are additionally key. Companions like Nvidia and Intel can now speed up AI in {hardware}, a characteristic that wasn’t frequent a half decade in the past.

Acer has harnessed this for SpatialLabs GO, a software program utility that may convert full-screen content material from 2D to stereoscopic 3D. This could make SpatialLabs helpful with a wider vary of content material. It might probably additionally assist creators generate content material to be used in stereoscopic 3D by importing and changing current belongings.

A unique approach on augmented actuality

Acer was a lead partner in Microsoft’s push for mixed reality headsets. They have been a flop, and their failure taught Acer arduous classes about how folks method AR/VR {hardware} in the actual world.

“Acer spent a lot bringing VR headsets to market, but … it was not very successful,” Acer Co-COO Jerry Kao said in an interview. “There were limitations. It’s not comfortable, or it’s expensive, and you need space around you. So, we wanted to address this.”

SpatialLabs is a complementary different. Creators can use SpaitalLabs to realize a 3D impact of their dwelling workplace with out pushing apart furnishings. The Acer View Professional, meant for business use, could have a future in retail shows, a use that headsets cannot handle.

A display in a store shows a shoe that seems to be coming out of the screen.
The View Professional show is constructed to be used in kiosks and retail shows.Acer

Many of the SpatialLabs product line, together with the ConceptD 7 laptop computer and View shows, lean in the direction of artistic professionals utilizing applications like Maya and Blender to create 3D content material. Acer says its software program suite has “out-of-the-box support for all major file formats.” It just lately added assist for Datasmith, a plugin used to import belongings to Epic’s Unreal Engine.

However the technology can be coming to Predator gaming laptops for glasses-free stereoscopic 3D in choose titles like Forza Horizon 5 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Gaming appears a pure match given its historical past in Nintendo’s handheld, and Hsu thinks it should assist entice mainstream consideration.

“When the Turn 10 team [developer of the Forza Horizon series] saw what we had done with Forza Horizon 5, they were like, ‘wow, this is so great!’” mentioned Hsu. “They said, you know what? I think I can build the scene with even more depth. And this is just the beginning.”

Does glasses-free 3D actually stand an opportunity?

SpatialLabs brings beneficial properties in decision and efficiency, however it’s removed from a surefire hit. Acer is the one PC maker at present pursuing the {hardware}. Going it alone gained’t be straightforward.

“While the tech seems quite appealing, it will likely remain a niche product that’ll be used in rare instances by designers or developers rather than the average consumer,” Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager at IDC, mentioned in an e-mail. He thinks Acer may discover it troublesome to ship on worth and availability, “both of which are tough to do for such a fringe technology.”

I requested Hsu how Acer will clear up these points. “In a way he’s right, it is difficult. We’re building this ourselves,” mentioned Hsu. “But also, the hardware is more mature.”

Kao chimed in to say SpatialLabs will stand out in what is likely to be weak yr for dwelling computer systems. “The PC in 2022 is encountering a lot of problems,” Kao mentioned. He sees that as a motivation, not a barrier, for novel technology on the PC.

“Intel, Google, Microsoft, and a lot of people, they have technology,” mentioned Kao. “But they don’t know how to leverage that technology in the product and deliver the experience to specific people. That is what Acer is good at.”

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Hirak Deb Nath
Hi, I am Hirak Deb Nath. I am working as an Associate Data Analyst and Web Developer at Accenture in the Artificial Intelligence Team. I have 1.5 years of experience in Full Stack Web Development in React and 5 years of experience in Digital Marketing. I run various Blogs and E-commerce businesses in different Categories. I am a News and Media, Business, Finance, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and Data Science Enthusiast. Additionally, I know Java, C, C++, Python, Django, Machine Learning Android Development, SEO, SMM, Figma, Shopify, and WordPress customization.

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