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Will Sony re-invent S3D?

And why would they do that? Sony sees new opportunities for the technology

Posted: By Jon Peddie 10.21.20
(Source: Sony)

 

Sony Electronics announced the debut of its Spatial Reality Display (SR Display), a new Stereo 3D display made with Sony’s Eye-Sensing Light Field Display (ELFD) technology. The display does not require virtual reality glasses or a headset. 

The display uses a 4K panel with micro-optical lenticular lens. (Source: Sony)

 

In the past, such displays which used lenticular approaches to provide autostereoscopy have suffered from dead zones as people moved their head back and forth across viewing regions. Sony solves this problem by using an eye tracker and shifting the display’s scan slightly so one is always looking at a sweet spot. The display’s eye-tracker monitors eye movement down to the millisecond, with a fast image rendering shifting the image instantaneously, based on the location and position of the viewer’s eyes. The 4K display is geared toward standard workstation use. However, Sony is not disclosing specific viewing angles at this time. Brightness is 500nit, and the contrast is 1400:1.

Sony’s eye-tracker keeps the image in the sweet spot. (Source: Sony)

 

This, says Sony, will allow creators to interact with their designs. And they can do it in a realistic virtual, 3D environment from any angle without glasses. The SR Display can be used with a Leap Motion controller to generate experiences which include virtual touch and other hand gestures.

Sony’s SR Display leverages its processing algorithm to display content in realtime. This allows the stereoscopic image to appear as smooth as real life, even if the viewer moves around. The rendering algorithm is part of the SRD SDK which the user installs. Sony says the SDK is compatible with Unity and Unreal Engine.

A GeForce RTX 2070 Super is the smallest supported AIB, but the following Nvidia AIBs also work: 2080, 2080ti, 3070, 3080, 3090. The smallest CPU is core i7-9700K at 3.6 GHz or faster, the least amount of RAM is 16GB. AMD AIBs are not currently supported.

The SR Display has a suggested retail price of $5,000. It will be available to order on Sony’s direct e-commerce site and through other retailers in November.

Sony showed the display to attendees at CES this year. Sony will be hosting a virtual demo of this product on October 22, 2020 at 12pm PT. Attendees can see how the product works and ask questions. Those interested in the demo can register here: Sony Virtual Demo, October 22nd.

To show the capabilities of the display, Sony Electronics collaborated with Sony Pictures. Columbia Pictures' subsidiary Ghost Corps used the monitor on the upcoming Ghostbusters film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Scheduled for release in 2021, the collaboration, says Sony, focused on using the SR Display.

What do we think?

The SR Display could be an enabler for creators across several industries. Application opportunities from automotive and industrial design come to mind. CG and VFX designers and creators would also be candidates. The company has worked with filmmakers and product designers. In particular, there is the potential to use the product in the automotive industry. New vehicle design and ideation are possibilities.

Sony is not alone in this market. Looking Glass Factory also has a glasses-free 3D display. Looking Glass offers a 15.6-in display that starts at $3,000 and with touch is $6,000. It offers a 50-degree cone view. We reviewed the device and you can read about it here.