Acer’s new SpatialLabs tech brings 3D content to laptop screens

From The Verge: Acer has announced SpatialLabs, a new 3D technology that will debut on the company’s ConceptD laptops. I got a chance to try it. It’s not something we’ll realistically see on a consumer device anytime soon — but it’s pretty dang cool nonetheless.

SpatialLabs is, according to Acer, “a suite of experiences empowered by cutting-edge optical solutions.” Plainly, it’s a set of tools that makes 3D work look very realistic and cool without requiring special glasses to see it. It delivers content in Stereoscopic 3D, which presents a pair of nearly-but-not-quite-identical 2D images (one to each eye) that combine in your brain to look like one 3D picture. (It’s essentially imitating what your eyes already do.)

SpatialLabs uses a combination of three things to do this. There’s a stereo camera, consisting of two image sensors, in the laptop’s top bezel, which tracks the position of your eyes and head. There’s an optical lens bonded to the top of the display; the images for each eye are projected through this lens, then refracted to your eyes. And there’s real-time rendering technology inside, which allows you to rotate and move 3D models in certain applications.

That means there are some limitations to how SpatialLabs can be used. For one, only one person can use it at a time; Acer emphasized that I couldn’t have anyone behind me during my demo. You also can’t have a mask on during use and can’t have strong light behind you. And needless to say, you need a powerful system to run this stuff well: Acer sent me a ConceptD 7 Pro with an eight-core Core i7-10875H, an Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000, and 32GB of RAM to test the tech. One of these would cost $2,899.99 without the SpatialLabs features, and Acer didn’t specify how much the extra stuff would add to the cost. Regardless, I’m sure it’ll be well outside of my price range, but I can dream.

View: Full Article