French filmmaker and artist Francois Vogel believes he has discovered the long sought after solution to experience 3D without the annoying and up until now requisite glasses. In the bizarre demonstration above, Vogel simulates the 3D active shutter process by attaching two modules to the temples on either side of his head. After being “turned on” by two remote controls, the modules in some way force his eyes to blink at a rapid rate that reproduces the active shutter effect.
I’ve got a few gripes I need to share here. This demonstration is freaky to say the least, and I’m not really buying into it. For something so technically natured you’d think that Vogel would back up his invention with some science behind it. Besides uploading this single video to YouTube (his channel only includes this video), he also created a website that is noticeably absent of anything remotely helpful to his cause. Besides stating on his YouTube page that the tech requires 120Hz monitor displays to work, he fails to provide any other information regarding how the modules work. And what about those remote controls that “turn on” said modules? It just doesn’t sit well with me. But that could be because the demonstration is downright disturbing. Whether or not Vogel’s 3D glasses-free solution is fair game is left up in the air until he comes out with more evidence supporting it.
After a flurry of rumors Nintendo finally revealed its next handheld to the world with the 3DS. Its overall design does not depart from its predecessor the DSi. There are two screens; the top is 3D-capable (widescreen 3.5 inches), the bottom is touch-sensitive. No glasses required! Button and camera positioning remains almost the same. New additions include a home button, a Slide Pad (it’s an analog nub), a 3D Depth Slider that allows you to control the 3D effect from 100% to totally off, and a third camera positioned next to the one on the front allowing for 3D picture-taking. It also packs an accelerometer and gyroscope. All in all the 3D effect was quite pleasing and added a new sense of depth to the demonstrations and trailers. It definitely takes a couple minutes to adjust your eyes to the screen but once that’s done the depth perception becomes a welcome addition to gameplay. Your initial reaction will be “woah, this is neat.” It’s worthy to note that there is a 3D boundary when you’re holding the device in your hands. If you tilt the 3DS ever so slightly or try to have someone else watch what you’re doing from a slight angle the 3D effect gets completely distorted and essentially disappears. As for the analog nub, it feels and works similar to the PSP’s nub and will likely make for some new interesting control schemes for 3DS titles.
Speaking of games, the 3DS section of the Nintendo booth did include a couple playable games but they were extremely barebones and there only to give people a glimpse into the 3D effect. Samurai Warriors 3D had me fighting off an incoming army of ninjas. Thought the 3D effect was there, the gameplay was rather stale and did not make for such a great experience. On the other hand, StarFox 3D brought a sense of nostalgia over me and I quickly became immersed in the playable demo as I took flight in the skies and shot lasers at enemy planes. A vast amount of 3DS handhelds were loaded with 3D environments that you could only explore by manipulating the camera angle with the nub. Resident Evil Revelations cutscenes look fantastic in stereoscopic vision. All in all, the 3DS is an impressive piece of hardware and I’m excited to see how Nintendo continues to build on the platform as we near its release in 2011. 3D is starting to become a trend in the movie industry and now in video games thanks to the PS3 and 3DS. It’ll be interesting to watch the competing companies vie for the top spot with one bridging the gap between 2D and 3D gaming with glasses and the other doing it without them.