The first time I used a 3D monitor was at the end of the nineties. The problem was that to see the 3D image clearly I had to sit directly in front of the screen and even then it gave me an absolutely massive headache. With Philips’ new WOWvx 3D display you don’t have to sit directly in front of the screen and it doesn’t give you a massive headache. Now why didn’t the guys who developed my old 3D monitor think of that? To think how much paracetamol I could have saved.
Helping turn its WOWvx 3D technology into something ‘real’, the boffins at Phillips have teamed up with London’s Picture Production Company Group (PPC). The London-based outfit has plenty of expertise in turning 2D into 3D and is supplying media content for the displays. The major focus at PPC is currently on product marketing, but beyond turning heads in your local high street or car showroom, this technology has the potential to become an essential tool for the product development process.
Indeed, PPC told DEVELOP3D that they already have a motor manufacturer who is using this technology to revisit legacy 2D drawings, but is also considering putting the screens on designer’s desks for a true 3D modelling experience. Skipping industries, Dutch architects, OMA, is using the technology to bring its buildings to life for design exploration and client presentations.
In terms of producing the 3D imagery Philips explained that 2D video can be converted into 3D using a rather clever box of tricks called the Philips BlueBox. However, if a 3D CAD model exists, it can be adapted for the screen by taking it into 3ds Max and Maya and using special plug ins to produce the ‘2D plus depth’ file required for the display. It would also be possible to develop plug ins for other CAD applications.
Anyway, to learn more about the technology I’ve included the obligatory YouTube link. The problem is you kind of lose the effect a bit watching it on a 2D monitor. It’s a bit like watching R2D2’s Princess Leia hologram on the silver screen. OK, it’s not, but you get my point.