Thursday, April 22, 2010

Viewsonic #3D Glasses Debut for its Stereoscopic Projectors

ViewSonic announced the launch of its PGD-150 Active Stereographic 3D shutter glasses which work in tandem with ViewSonic's DLP Link 120Hz / 3D Ready projectors to provide an immersive 3D experience. Here is what Viewsonic says: "For teachers looking to make the educational experience more engaging for their students, or home users hoping to bring cinema-quality 3D experiences into their media rooms, ViewSonic's PGD-150 Active Stereographic shutter glasses offer a bold new approach. Boasting a 50ft effective use distance for maximum flexibility and active shutter glass design for a blur-free 3D experience, these glasses work perfectly in tandem with large scale presentations or solo media viewing. The PGD-150's sharp 1000:1 contrast and TN Type LCD shutter ensures each vibrant 3D image is displayed with perfect clarity. Molded in durable plastic, the ViewSonic PGD-150 Active Stereographic 3D shutter glasses feature a ruggedized water- and dust-proof design and operate with long lasting lithium batteries for up to 70 hours of usage before replacement. ViewSonic's PGD-150 Active Stereographic 3D shutter glasses are currently available for an ESP of $99."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

#3D TV disparities said to cause physical, mental strain

Stereo photographers learn to tolerate the vergence-accommodate disparity as the only way to "free view" side-by-side left-and-right images on stereographic cards. In our club about half the members have learned to tolerate this disparity and "free view" stereo cards without glasses--but the other half complain of discomfort whenever they try. Look for all 3D TVs to sport a 3D-to-2D button that lets viewers decide. R.C.J.

Visual disparities in 3-D TV images can cause physical strain in viewers, according to recent research at the University of California at Berkeley. While proper viewing conditions can help avoid most problems--dark room, central seat far from the screen--3-D cinematographers also need to follow careful rules or risk making people sick, researchers said. A stereo viewing chair that rotates was designed by UC-Berkeley researchers to allow manipulation of visual and vestibular cues to self-motion and body orientation. The debate over 3-D TV heated up earlier this week when Samsung issued a warning about possible health effects. Even if the physical strains of 3-D are avoided, other disparities can cause mental strain akin to vertigo, according to other investigators at the University of Washington. For the emerging crop of 3-D movies that incorporate real-world scenery, movie makers have one extra job beyond those of previous animations: Minimizing the so-called vergence-accommodation conflict. The conflict arises from the fact that 3-D displays present perceptual disparities to the brain that its never encountered before, and to which not everybody's brain can adapt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

#3D Samsung warns of 3-D TV health hazards

Samsung's posts about the potential health hazards of 3D TV reminds me of the fledgling virtual reality (VR) market that consumers revolted against after medical experts hinted that head-mounted displays (HMDs) could encourage "lazy eye" in youngsters. I suggest that 3D TV vendors start preparing their defense against lawsuits alleging all sorts of aches, pains and worse, caused by 3D TV. R.C.J.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has posted a 3-D TV health warning on its Australian web site describing a long list of hazards potentially associated with the technology. Samsung's posting, titled, "Photosensitive Seizure Warning and Other Health Risks," runs through a short list of serious maladies that can be triggered as a result of viewing 3-D TV, the worst of which is a stroke or epileptic seizure. The warning also describes a long list of symptoms to watch out for—especially in children and teenagers—including altered vision, lightheadedness, dizziness, involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching, confusion, nausea, convulsions, cramps, disorientation and "loss of awareness." Lesser evils that 3-D TV may cause, according to Samsung, are motion sickness, perceptual "after effects," eye strain, "decreased postural stability," headaches and fatigue. Taking breaks is advised as a quick fix for any of these symptoms. The warning advises people suffering from symptoms against drinking alcohol, watching when tired or watching if you are in "bad physical condition." The warning states that viewers can damage their eyesight by sitting too close or by walking around outside wearing 3-D glasses. The warning also advises against placing a3-D TV too close to "open stairwells, cables, balconies or other objects that may cause you to injure yourself."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

#3D in France on "Orange"

Orange France will launch a regular 3D channel this May starting with the Roland Garros grand slam tournament. The channel will initially be available to IPTV subscribers only who have access to fast broadband. Orange has been active with 3D for the past two Roland Garros events, but this is the first time it will be broadcast on a regular channel. Orange 3D will continue to offer a variety of programming including sports events, entertainment and documentaries after the tennis tournament has finished. Broadband TV News

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sony Announce FIFA World Cup 3D Schedule

The 2010 FIFA World Cup to be filmed in 3D by Sony has announced it schedule, with the opener: Mexico versus the host nation of South Africa on June 11. In addition to the initial contest, the 3D schedule is highlighted by three of the four quarterfinals, both semifinal matches, the 3rd-place game and the World Cup final on July 11. 3D filming will occur at five of the 10 World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, as well as venues in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. All told, FIFA and Sony are teaming on 25 3D matches, as the world's most popular sporting event takes place in Africa for the first time. ESPN, the English-language, TV rights-holder to the World Cup in the U.S., is slated to present all of the competition's 3D matches on ESPN 3D, its fledgling service that has inked an affiliate pact on DirecTV

The following is a list of the 2010 World Cup matches that are scheduled to be filmed in 3D
June 11th - South Africa vs. Mexico
June 12th - Argentina vs. Nigeria
June 13th - Germany vs. Australia
June 14th - Netherlands vs. Denmark
June 15th - Brazil vs. North Korea
June 16th - Spain vs. Switzerland
June 17th - Argentina vs. South Korea
June 18th - Slovenia vs. USA
June 19th - Netherlands vs. Japan
June 20th - Brazil vs. Ivory Coast
June 21st - Spain vs. Honduras
June 22nd - Nigeria vs. South Korea
June 23rd - Ghana vs. Germany
June 24th - Slovakia vs. Italy
June 25th - Portugal vs. Brazil
June 27th - Winners of Group B vs. Runner up in Group A
June 28th - Winners of Group E vs. Runner up in Group F
June 28th - Winners of Group G vs. Runner up in Group H
July 2nd - Quarter final
July 3rd - Quarter final
July 3rd - Quarter final
July 6th - Semi final
July 7th - Semi final
July 10th - 3rd place play-off
July 11th - World Cup final

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Spatial View Converts PCs/iPods to Autostereoscopic 3D"

Spatial View Inc. (Toronto) has created a wide variety of lenticular screen overlays for PCs, laptops and iPod/iPhones that permit stereoscopic viewing of 3D images without the glasses. The company has been pioneering consumer 3D experiences in Canada and Europe since 2002, but now has brought its autostereoscopic expertise to the U.S. with a variety of accessories and software apps for Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch--all created by its research and development division in Dresden, Germany (Spatial View GmbH).

In Europe, Spatial View has been creating 3D public presentations for retail point-of-sale applications, digital signage, professional design shops, gaming, entertainment and animation. Spatial View currently has applications running in 15 countries worldwide and has offices in Hong Kong and San Francisco. For the U.S. market, Spatial View has created a line of autostereoscopic lenses and software which is calls the Wazabee 3DeeShell, which works with both laptop PCs and Apple iPhones/iPod Touch. For laptop PCs, its Wazabee 3DeeFlector fits over the LCD screen. To present images, the company offers its PowerPlayer ($349) which renders 3D stereo pairs for its lenticular overlays (as well as for shutter or polarized glasses). The PowerPlayer can also render 3D models created in computer-aided design programs. For iPhone/iPod Touch, Spatial View has created 3DeeSlide--a lenticular screen that slides into an accessory 3DeeShell ($49) that fits over the device and allows the lenticular overlay--called 3DeeLens--to be quickly slid in and out of the Wazabee 3DeeShell. Image capture and presentation software for the Wazabee 3DeeShell and 3DeeLens include apps for taking your own shots, assembling them into stereo pairs, as well as loading and storing them online for easy sharing. 3DeeCamera ($.99) assists you in using the iPhone's camera to take stereo pair images, including easy to use tools for aligning and adjusting the distance between stereo pairs. After shooting, the images can be stored paired in the the photo library and quickly recalled for viewing in analglyph, side-by-side, cross-eyed or autostereoscopic formats. The iPhone's accelerometer, which is used to automatically switch the screen between landscape and portait modes, will switch between side-by-side and cross-eyed views by rotating the landscape mode to the left or right respectively. A nice addition is the ability to adjust the distance between pairs while viewing them in either side-by-side or analgyph views using gestures: drag with one finger to align, pinch with two fingers to resize, and spin with two fingers to rotate the image. For viewing 3D images you have already taken and stored in the iPhone's image library, Spatial View created Wazabee 3DeeVUsion, which allows you to selec image pairs from the photo library. If you want to store your 3D images on Facebook, then download 3DeeFriends, which allows you to upload your images to the free Facebook server for storage, then easily select stereo pairs for viewing in anaglyph, side by side, cross-eyed or as interlaced autostereoscopic lenticulars. If you prefer Fliker over Facebook, then you should use the Wazabee 3Dee!oadr app, which allows stereo pairs to be stored at Flickr as side-by-side images then convert them on the fly to either anaglyph or lenticular formats for viewing with red-and-blue glasses or glasses-free respectively. Spatial View has also created a 3D video game for the autostereoscopic Wazabee 3DeeShell which allow you to view the game in stereo without any glasses. Called Hunter3Dee, the top-down space shooter game offers six levels of shoot-em-up sequences
Hunter 3Dee is a top-down space shooter for the Wazabee 3DeeShell. Fight through two zones and six levels in real 3Dee. Spatial View has also teamed up with with Google on its 3D modeling program called the 3DeeWarehouse, which stores models made in the 3D modeling program SketchUp, but which now can be viewed glasses free using the 3DeeShell. Spatial View has also teamed with Sony Music Entertainment to convert its 3D Blu-ray movies for viewing on the iPhone and iPod Touch in autostereoscopic mode using the 3DeeSlide a mobile accessory with the built-in lenticular lens. Last month at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, Spatial View directed the video entitled "Drown in the Now" for The Crystal Method, featuring a performance by Matisyahu taken from the band's recent album "Divided by Night" which is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Electronic/Dance Album category. UVPHACTORY created the video in Stereo 3D, and Spatial View adapted it for use with its 3DeeSlide.