The Future? Previewing 3D Computing : All Tech Considered I held out my hand when they took the picture it really looked like I was reaching out to touch someone.
NPR logo The Future? Previewing 3D Computing

The Future? Previewing 3D Computing

I had a visit from NVIDIA Friday.  They gave me a glimpse of the latest 3D technology for laptops.  Yes, you still have to wear those silly glasses.  That's one reason I have some doubts about this whole enterprise.  That said, they showed me a laptop due out  next month from the Taiwanese company ASUS. It will retail for around $1,500. I did enjoy the imagery even if I didn't quite feel as immersed as I do watching 3D movies in a theater.

A stroll through World of Warcraft certainly had more depth.  And I can only imagine it will get better if 3D computers become common and they put more resources into 3D games.  The Masters Golf Tournament now streams in 3D.  I could really get a better sense of just how far a ball really had to travel from the tee to the green.  But, I'm not sure who wants to watch sports on a laptop. YouTube now has a 3D channel.  The content is still pretty limited to hummingbirds and flowers but that could change.

That brings me to the most fun part of the presentation: home pictures in 3D. They brought along a $500 dollar Fuji camera and snapped my picture. There really was something amazing about seeing my own image in 3D.  I held out my hand when they took the picture it really looked like I was reaching out to touch someone.

I am something of a skeptic about all this 3D technology in the home. A friend once said to me, "3D is the technology of the future and it always will be." Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show there were ads for 3D TV's that made me giggle.  There's just something about the entire family gathered around the TV wearing those glasses that looks ridiculous.  Can you imagine a romantic night at home watching a movie with your sweetie?  You get all cuddly and then bend over for a kiss and your glasses bump.

But, I did find something compelling about the 3D laptop.  I think gamers will love the experience and I can fully imagine them feeling perfectly cool with their glasses on.  And I guess I just think that many people will enjoy looking at their personal pictures and videos this way.  I'm not sure that large numbers of people will be willing to shell out more than $2,000 bucks for the experience but if the price comes down I'd buy.