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How Nvidia Wants To Bring 3D Glasses Back 341

Posted by timothy
from the so-stylish dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "For the last ten years, we've heard the promise of 3D shutter glasses, which when combined with the proper video card drivers and a good display, can trick your brain into thinking that your 2D monitor is creating 3D images. Unfortunately the glasses never really took off, partly because there were rendering problems with many popular 3D games but mostly because monitors didn't support high enough refresh rates to display games without giving people crushing headaches. Nvidia thinks they've solved both problems--the software works much better, and there are a surprising number of supported 120Hz-capable TVs and monitors that ameliorate the headache factor. Maximum PC has a hands-on with Nvidia's new tech, plus details about Nvidia's planned hardware solution."
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How Nvidia Wants To Bring 3D Glasses Back

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  • Q: What software and hardware is needed?

    Windows Vista 32-bit (64-bit support coming soon)


    Couldn't this have been at the top of the article?
    • by PPH (736903) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:18PM (#25040361)

      But you'll appreciate how that BSOD really pops out of the screen in 3D. Or the progress bar while waiting for file copies.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mmalove (919245)

        Don't forget narrowly avoiding the swinging anamorphic appendages of a personified paperclip.

      • "But you'll appreciate how that BSOD really pops out of the screen in 3D. Or the progress bar while waiting for file copies."

        Wasn't that one of the arguments against a 3D computing environment? The displays weren't 3D? The input devices weren't 3D?

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:19PM (#25040383)

      Yea... like the games that will support it will work in Linux...

      Lets be reasonable. You are making a new device trying to get new customers, why would you make XP or Linux drivers first... XP is on its way out. Yea Vista sucks but with more and more companies no longer shipping XP means more people will get Vista Preinstalled. Linux is not a gaming platform, it is barely a desktop platform, it only has like 1% market share, most of these people are running on Linux that is not powerful enough to run the drivers. so .25% market share? Yea lets spend millions of dollars in a new product design and spend half the funds for a tiny knitch market.

      Most hardware purchases are sold when they get new hardware, thus getting Vista Preinstalled. So if I were to get my Ultimate Game computer with all the hardware I would have vista anyways.

      Now if the product kicks off and becomes popular then you will get more drivers Linux drivers Mac Drivers, if there is still demmand they may have XP drivers. But if you are going to release a new product you might as well develop for the latest version, no matter what you religious stance is.

      • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:27PM (#25040521) Journal

        Yea... like the games that will support it will work in Linux..

        I'm not sure I have nerve to play Angband with this anyway -- those capital Z's will be terrifying in 3D!

      • My religious stance? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:30PM (#25040583)
        no matter what you religious stance is

        I'm sorry, I don't think we've met. Yes, I don't like Vista. But it's not a religious stance against Microsoft. In fact, I hold 4 Microsoft certifications (MCSE, MCSD VB6, MCSD C#.Net, MCDBA) and work on Microsoft products all day every day. In fact, I did a 6 month contract programming job for Microsoft themselves as a side job.

        I bought a new computer 3 months ago. Middle-of-the-road Dell system, dual core 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB disk space. It came pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux, but I installed Vista Ultimate 64 bit on it. (Did I forget to mention I'm also an MSDN Subscriber which lets me install any software I want for testing purposes?). I installed Vista because I was sick of hearing how bad it was. Long story short, after the fresh install and setting up all my drivers so I had the latest of all devices in the Device Manager, I was having applications crash about every 5 minutes. So I figured it was a 64 bit problem. I installed Vista Ultima 32-bit and got all the drivers updated. Same problem. I updated the firmware. Same problem. I installed Windows XP SP3. 3 months later and if it's had a single application crash in that time, I'd be surprised.

        So, I'm just one person but I have no religious stance against Microsoft, was looking forward to installing Vista, had issues with it that 12 hours of trying to fix it did not resolve. And I have 20 years experience in professional IT using almost exclusively Microsoft products going back to MS-DOS 3.3.

        If that's a religious stance to you, that's beyond silly.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          Wow you took that personally. It wasn't personal or directed at you it was to stop my argument from the Linux Zealots who would often post after me Touting how COOL Linux is and how great it is for gaming, etc. I just wanted people to stop and look at the facts and understand a business reason for just using Vista Drivers. Um posts on Slashdot tend to do the following.
          1. Never read the username, as it is kinda pointless.
          2. Assume the context is about what the general feeling are on the topic (in this case

        • by excesspwr (218183) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:46PM (#25040829)

          Beyond silly? That's not beyond silly. A football helmet full of cottage cheese, now that's beyond silly.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Dekker3D (989692)

            and it's just gross if you put ketchup on it. mustard's better, it really brings out that extra "flavour" from being served in a football helmet ;)

          • by PitaBred (632671)

            And naked pictures of Bea Arthur?

        • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:00PM (#25041049)

          I got a new Dell a couple of months ago myself. An Inspiron 540 with a 2.4 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of Ram. It came installed with one of the several dozen versions of Vista, the one a step above home.

          I originally was intent on getting XP, but my brother recommended Vista just to give it a try. I was reluctant, given the constant onslaught of negative press and my own brief interactions with the system. I've tinkered with it in stores and have used it briefly on my coworker's laptop.

          Lo and behold, I actually thought the OS was quite decent. Thus far, I haven't had a single issue. I've been quite pleased and I do generally feel it improves on XP.

          It's more than I can say for OSX 10.5. I have far more issues with my iMac at the office running that OS than I've had with my iMac at home running 10.4. It seems that people just are as vocal about problems with OSX.

          So I can't but wonder if I'm one of the few to not have problems or if too many people are simply jumping on the bandwagon and putting down Vista without actually having used it. It's almost like it's a fad to crap on Microsoft. And I'm sure I'll be dismissed as a Microsoft fanboy.

        • I actually wound up with Vista because I needed an OS to do some development on. I tried to install Vista x64 on my machine but my SATA controller is not supported because there are no signed drivers for it. Mind you, Linux x64 has been running, oh, since SELinux 10, Ubuntu 7 and now Ubuntu 8, on that very same controller like a champ.

          Still, once I did get Vista up and rolling in Virtual Box OSE session, I found myself rather liking it. So, I wound up adding a partition to my Linux box to dual boot Vista

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          hows that IE8 working for you? Has microsoft told you what you should be browsing today?

          I heard there's this IE6 thing, but it's kinda hard to use in SP3, no? /sarcasm.

        • by Kwirl (877607) <kwirlkarphys@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @03:56PM (#25044065)

          Really? Because I have 4 PC's in my house at the moment running windows Vista, 1x Home Premium 64, 2x Ultimate 64 and one Ultimate 32. In the last month of near-constant use for everything from 3D rendering applications, heavy gaming, casual use and more there has been a grand total of 0 crashes between all 4 PCs.

          One of the PC's started having problems, but that turned out to be related to the NVidia 8500 drivers, using the onboard ATI HD3200 it runs smooth and stable pretty much around the clock.

          You can throw around your certifications all you like, although expecting them to earn you anything more than cursory mod points on slashdot is rather just e-penis inflation. What applications were crashing? How are you able to say beyond question that these crashes were the fault of Vista? So your computer crashes on an application and your first method of troubleshooting is to install a new operating system? Srsly?

          At least you weren't modded all the way to insightful, but if you want to come out sounding like anything more than just someone bashing Vista like everyone else on /. then I'd like some form of intelligent support behind your claims.

          Or this, I'm a certified Linux user, I bash Windows on public forums all the time, I even have a penguin sticker on my car! I use linux all day, every day. However, when I went to install the newest distro of Bandwagon 0.8, certain things would crash. (Did I forget to mention that I've got internet access, which lets me download imaginary credentials?) Anyway, since something didn't work, I decided to turn the monitor upside down and install Bandwagon in a different language. Still doesn't work....

          I could keep going, but it stops being funny and becomes sad rather quickly in this context. All you provided was a set of credentials which describe probably a good 75% of the users of this forum, and a REALLY pointless story that shows me nothing except your absolutely horrid reasoning skills. (And I'm even being generous and assuming that before reformatting your OS you were intelligent enough to check the application's website to ensure compatability with 64-bit Vista). I mean, there are so many things WRONG with your reasoning that I can't stop myself from typing. Did you try using compatability modes? Did you take ownership of the application? I give up, but I hope you feel better about having earned your vista-bashing certifications on /.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TechwoIf (1004763)
        If you read the article, "Right now, we do not have OpenGL support but will be working to release it soon". So when it hits the shelves for purchase, opengl games, including Linux games, will work out of the box. One opengl game, Secondlife was modified for 3D by University of Michigan. http://um3d.dc.umich.edu/software/second_life/ [umich.edu] https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-2972 [secondlife.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        "XP is on its way out"

        False. It's actually beating Vista anywhere consumers have a choice, and of course there's no way to track all the pirated copies that are being used to "downgrade" from Vista.

        Vista can't play games XP can on the same hardware. That's a pretty damning indictment. (Increased system resources)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by meatplow (184288)
      I'll save my mod-points since someone already got you with "-1 Flamebait". Are you suggesting that since that at this time its only working model is on Win32, that some how make this a waste of time? If I a new company, would my first goal be to satisfy a "smaller" portion of the market, or go for the largest piece of the pie. I'm sure sales/strategy/accounting had a lot to do with this. I'm fairly positive it had NOTHING to do with anything but money. BTW.. Get a grip - if you really want it: 1) Mac
  • by CrashPoint (564165) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:13PM (#25040303)

    Unfortunately the glasses never really took off, partly because there were rendering problems with many popular 3D games but mostly because monitors didn't support high enough refresh rates to display games without giving people crushing headaches.

    OK, sure, refresh rates are an issue, but you don't think it was mostly that people don't want to wear special glasses for gaming? We haven't yet aged so much as a demographic that we can say "let me put on my gaming glasses" with a straight face.

    • Not only that... but anyone who has ever had to wear these glasses, they are so uncomfortable, that even the appeal of the visual 3d effects isn't enough to wear them for more than minutes.
      • Looking at the pics they seem rather small not much bigger then plastic frames of the 1980's. A lot less geeky then they use to be.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by digitig (1056110)

          Which is fine if you don't need glasses for normal vision. One pair of glasses over another is never good.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

        There are stereoscopic displays, I think a panel is behind something like a lenticular sheet. I think that's the only reasonable way to do 3D.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      I love the glasses. They're so bad!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Naughty Bob (1004174) *
      I'd wear special glasses if it made stuff 3D. No question.

      But I think that the really big market for this will be the console, so I want to know- Will this work on any of the current/planned TV technologies?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by alyawn (694153)
        There are several monitors *and* TVs already out that have built-in support for 3D. I've seen several listed [3droundup.com] and the prices even seem reasonable.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:40PM (#25040719)

        I'd wear special glasses if it made stuff 3D. No question.

        You could have just posted "GIMMIE 3D PORN!" like you thought.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:43PM (#25040781) Journal
        Have you ever tried it? We had a set in our lab and a nice haptic system. Very few people could use it for more than half an hour without feeling sea sick. The human brain uses about half a dozen queues to determine depth and the glasses only simulated the stereo separation, not (for example) the different focal lengths. This means your brain gets conflicting depth cues and processes the input discrepancies by making you feel sick.
        • by cowscows (103644)

          But can you get used to it? Sure, it's another barrier to entry, but I might put up with an hour or so of queasiness if it meant I could get some decent 3D gaming afterwards.

          I had a friend in college that had some significant problems with feeling sick just playing half-life on a 21" monitor. But after forcing himself to sit through it for a few decent sessions, I guess his brain adapted and the problem went away.

          While it's disorienting at first, I'd guess that your brain could adapt and make sense of it a

        • by pizzach (1011925)
          People got sick with all sorts of fake 3D effects. My mother couldn't play the original Mario Kart for extended periods of time. The question is, does this feeling go away with time? Is it restricted to just old people?
        • by pcgabe (712924)

          That's unfortunate.

          I got 3D shutter glasses about 5 years ago, and they worked fantastically. I would play fps games until the sun came up. I was quite disappointed when I switched to laptops and didn't have 3D capabilities anymore.

          I wondered why they never caught on. I never felt nausea using them (though I do get actual on-ocean seasick very easily), and I adjusted to them very quickly. Then again, I can see those magic-eye things almost effortlessly, so maybe my eyes are just messed up.

      • Yup. Many current hdtvs specifically advertise a 120hz refresh and provide a connection port for synchronizing refresh times.
    • by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:22PM (#25040467) Homepage

      You also wouldn't think the nun chuck Wii controller and boxing would have been popular considering how stupid it looks but its taking off as well.

      Also One of my favorite sega genesis games had the lcd based 3d glasses. While they were crazy uncomfortable the potential seems pretty impressive, I'm sure they could work things out. We have to be better at video game ergonomics now than we were when I was a kid.

      I WANT MY FREAKING 3D GAMES!!!!

      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:34PM (#25040629) Journal

        It was the Sega Master System that had the 3d glasses. I have one, and I found the 3d effect really difficult to maintain. The depth of field is very limited. anything significantly in front of or behind the object you're focusing on is a double image.

        • Sorry thats correct SMS, not genesis. So it was done even earlier. It should be trivial now....

        • I actually had 3d glasses with Rad Racer on the original NES. There was a special game mode you could use to turn it on. Unfortunately, my little brother sat on the glasses and bent them, so I only got to use them a few times. If I remember right, the effect mostly just turned everything orange...
        • It was the Sega Master System that had the 3d glasses. I have one, and I found the 3d effect really difficult to maintain. The depth of field is very limited. anything significantly in front of or behind the object you're focusing on is a double image.

          It didn't help that the Master System's graphics hardware was optimized for tile-and-sprite based 2D graphics (actually, it couldn't do anything BUT that), so whatever 3D effects the console could accomplish were pretty limited.

          But with games that were conceiv

          • by aj50 (789101)

            The depth of field is very limited. anything significantly in front of or behind the object you're focusing on is a double image.

            Isn't this the case in real life too?

            If I hold my finger at arms length and look at something across the room I can see my finger twice.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      I dont think its the glasses. The problem here is that 2D is really good enough for humans. We have a good idea of how things look in 3D space on a 2D screen. Its not such a huge problem for us. The glasses just feel extraneous and gimmicky.

      This is also why we dont have 'scent machines' in every home and why people without 5.1 Dolby are able to watch movies without complaint.

      • by pizzach (1011925) <pizzach AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @02:14PM (#25042505) Homepage

        I dont think its the glasses. The problem here is that 2D is really good enough for humans. We have a good idea of how things look in 3D space on a 2D screen. Its not such a huge problem for us. The glasses just feel extraneous and gimmicky.

        2D is good enough in most cases, but not all. I think 2D has stunted the growth of true 3D design in games that just aren't possible otherwise.

        Some interesting effects of 2D on 3D games are:

        - When using a knife/punching, players run continuously at the opponent like an idiot to make sure they are within distance. Because they really can't tell if they are or not.

        - Any kind of platforming requires just the right camera angle. Otherwise it really is just a leap of faith.

        - Targeting systems in third person games to make sure you don't flail your sword like an idiot missing your target. Even then distance can be tricky.

        These are all tricks to make up for lack of 3D. While humans can do an admiral job adapting, but it's no substitute. Go ask a person who has lost sight in one eye (maybe not).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skrapion (955066)
  • a refresh rate of 120Hz still means you have an effective refresh rate of 60Hz for each eye.

    Personally, I'm a little sensitive to low refresh rates; anything below 75Hz will give me a headache, and I prefer 85Hz or more. Some monitors can show 170 frames per second, but those are very rare.

    Also, this won't work with LCD displays, because they are just to slow.

    • I find that 60Hz comfort depending on the environment I am in. Florescent lights seem to make it worse, while normal lighting it is more comfortable. Also being that games are rather fast moving and a lot of flashing it may lesson the effect then staring at a white screen as everything is moving not just a tiny section so you can really focus and see the flashing.

    • I'm the same way. When I'm sitting close to the monitor, 60Hz gives me a headache pretty fast. Sitting farther away, such as with a TV, it doesn't seem to bother me as much. Not really sure why.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by yukk (638002)
      I guess, just like so many, you didn't read the article ? It's all about how Viewsonic are making 120Hz LCDs and how Mitsubishi are making 120Hz stereoscopic 3D capable LCD TVs. Yes, this will give you 60Hz per eye with shutter glasses but it also mentions other methods of simulating 3D including a method which uses 2 LCD screens polarised at 90 degrees to one another and built into a regular form factor monitor (for this you wear passive, clear polarised glasses)
  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:21PM (#25040431) Journal

    Someone is going to create a way to convert standard porn to 3D and then these things will really take off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mprx (82435)
      There's no easy way to convert 2D video to 3D, but 3D porn already exists. See http://3d-eros.com/ [3d-eros.com] for example. (NSFW obviously). If you learn to control your eye focus independently from convergence you can watch this without any special hardware.
    • Someone is going to create a way to convert standard porn to 3D and then these things will really take off.

      It will really take off (in more ways than one) when there's force feedback gloves to go with it.

  • by MrMr (219533) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:21PM (#25040449)
    tfa: Right now, we do not have OpenGL support but will be working to release it soon
    I've been using Nuvison and Crystaleyes glasses for about 8 years with the Linux NVidia drivers; How did they manage to not have that in their new product?
    • nVidia has supported stereoscopic 3D for years with their Quadro line - and only the Quadro line. Everything else was pretty much deliberately forced to go into "fullscreen" mode.

      I use a Quadro with shutter glasses for stereoscopic 3D video recording and playback, and they work really well. But it sure would be nice to be able to use a less-costly video card. My application doesn't do a bit of "rendering" but it does require showing 3D stereo in a window.

  • by B5_geek (638928) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:22PM (#25040461)

    Instead of hoping that your monitor is good enough, lets get LCD glasses that display something better then 800x600. Most eye glasses are around 2" in diameter, if you could cram enough pixels into that space to give a minimum of ~1024x768 resolution then you will have a market.

    Portable gaming anyone? portable and PRIVATE browsing? Sign me up.

    • Sorry, the lawyers will shut that down. With the "monitor-centric" technologies, your immersion is limited and you still are aware of your position in the room (most likely your seat). If you make perfect LCD-goggles, people will start to fall over because they lose their spacial orientation, with the "unsafe product" lawsuits to follow.
      • The obvious lawyer solution would be a simple, brightly colored, warning label on the outside of the glasses saying to remain seated at all times while using them followed by a similar warning at the beginning of all games.

        • by morcego (260031)

          An even more perfect lawyer solution would be a simple, brightly colored, warning label on the outside marriage offices, stating that giving birth to lawyers is illegal and punishable by death.

          In the mean time, we only need to get a few empty buses, fill them with lawyers and ... well, you get the picture.

  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:24PM (#25040489)

    A long time ago, there was a big market for perifrials in games: joysticks, etc. I think at that point a substantial portion of the gaming market were playing flight sims. Latching on to that were more arcade-style games that benefited from joysticks: Wing Commander, X-Wing, etc.

    Since then, there's be a decrease in the number of peripherals. If the game doesn't play well with mouse and keyboard, it usually isn't played. Even on consoles, it's rough to convince people to play games with something other than the standard controller.

    Now nvidia wants us to but special nerd glasses and special nerd monitors for a 3D effect (windows Vista only). I'm not sure it'll fly.

    Also, reading that interview, Andrew FEAR sounds like a toolburger. Yeah, 3D could be fOMG amazing one eleventy exclamation point, but I'd rather have a better game.

  • by Tsaot (859424)
    They state that you need some pretty robust hardware for this as it is essentially rendering two frames at once. Did they leave SLI doing the same thing (each card rendering a portion of a frame) or are they splitting each frame onto each card?
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:27PM (#25040523)

    If I can't poke it in the eye or shove a sword through its guts, I don't consider it true 3D. Give me a holodeck with the safety features disabled, a BFG, and a flask of whiskey -- then we'll talk about licensing your technology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yetihehe (971185)
      Give me a flask of whiskey and I can talk for some time about anything! But it won't be very impressive.
    • by e4g4 (533831)

      a BFG, and a flask of whiskey

      You must be from the south.

  • I had 3d glasses several years ago, with a wire. No headaches for me.

    But designers specifically create certain scenes with the 2D look in mind. So when you actually view the scene, it does not look as intended.

    These are normally the important thematic bits, and so the overall effect can be ruined.

    So 2D bullet spray effects, made to look 3d in Photoshop, look like planes of sand in true 3d.
  • When I worked at the SAIC Virtual Reality Systems Group, I had the opportunity to buy and try several 3D video products and a couple of 3d audio (head related transfer function stuff).

    3D video and audio helps "suspend disbelief", making it easier to draw people into virtual environments.

    I just use a MacBook now, but if Nvidia sells 3D viewing glasses compatible with the Mac, they have a customer :-)

    BTW, a little off topic, but inexpensive 3D glasses with drivers compatible with the Squeak Croquet system wou

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:43PM (#25040769) Homepage Journal

    If 3D glasses just dumped the monitors and went wireless, they'd catch on. They need to be transparent, so the display is projected into the real field of view, and maybe have a black LCD layer to actually shut out the outside light.

    But if they worked like that, the first iPod to use them for video would push them over the edge into the mainstream once and for all.

    Unfortunately, we'll need a breakthru in batteries to power high framerate hirez good color wireless glasses with fast radio bandwidth to the device putting out the frames. Maybe the breakthru glasses will be hollow for fuelcell juice.

    • and in processing technology to track eye motion on that scale.

      Wearing a TV on your face and requiring you to stare straight ahead is NOT an improvement. With the clunkiness of the Wiimote (fun, maybe, but accurate it aint) I expect "head tracking" would be pretty much removed from the equation if you took away the [central point of focus] too.

      The result: two 2-d images, on your head.

  • If you haven't heard yet, Dreamworks and Pixar are both heading to 3D only movies. In another year, neither studio will be producing movies that don't require 3D. If this technology catches on and becomes popular (driven by movies), we might be able to avoid traditional, annoying 3D glasses. I would only hope that the studios could release DVD with either encoding. If not, you'll still be stuck at home watching 3D movies the old way.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      My understanding of this is that its trivial for them to produce 3D movies because they are already working in 3D polygons. Ive noticed some kids' movies being released as 3D but only at a few screenings. Everyone else gets the regular 2D version. In other words they will never "require 3D" as you put it, but 3D will be an option for the theater if it so chooses.

    • That shouldn't be too big a problem. As long as they're using the polarized filters somebody will figure out how to take the left or right channel by itself. The real problem is if the movie is released in red/cyan 3D, because there's no way to separate a single channel and retain the colour of the original picture.

  • Riiiiight... (Score:3, Informative)

    by tambo (310170) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:44PM (#25040791)
    "Unfortunately the glasses never really took off, partly because there were rendering problems with many popular 3D games but mostly because monitors didn't support high enough refresh rates to display games without giving people crushing headaches."

    Um, no. The glasses never took off because no one wanted to wear clunky, heavy glasses with a HUGE battery pack or cable attachment. (Or even better, two cables: sync and power.) Not to mention the hardware integrated into the frame for manipulating the shutter or polarization of each lens...

    And then there's the fact that a fair amount of gaming is not done in the solitude of a dorm room or mom's basement, but in public. And how would you look wearing a pair of shuttering glasses in Starbucks? True 3D is cool, but even nerds have their - our - limits.

    But, hey, this is Nvidia trying to find a raison d'etre after its sole niche becomes commoditized. I get that, but that doesn't make it not stupid. Next I suppose Nvidia will start touting other good-only-at-first-glance peripherals: the Nvidia gyroscopic mouse, the Nvidia true-3D-audio speaker set, and the Nvidia dvorak keyboard...

    - David Stein

    • by cowscows (103644)

      A fair amount of gaming is done in public, but not most of it. I don't think the issue of "looking dumb" is nearly as much a factor as the technology being unwieldy. If they can get that solved, and make the price attractive, it can be successful.

    • by prelelat (201821)

      I don't think I've done allot of gaming on a laptop let alone a starbucks. I do get what your saying but I think that technology has advanced enough that it might work with a bluetooth adapter and have a very small battery like my wireless headphones do. I can compare my wireless headphones that I got 2 years ago with the ones I got 5 years ago and theres a huge difference. Though I wouldn't care if there was a wire on them, 3D would be sweet.

      Anyways technology has come a long way since they first came ou

  • by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:46PM (#25040823) Journal

    Please select one of the following:

    1. My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
    2. Nothing could ameliorate the ineptitude of Principal Skinner
    3. Well, it should be obvious to even the most dim-witted individual who holds an advanced degree in hyperbolic topology, n'gee, that Homer Simpson has stumbled into...the third dimension.
    4. Jebediah Neil
  • It's nice that the glasses were "designed from day one to be easily worn over most types of glasses frames" but it just sounds like an excuse not to include diopter adjustment. Should have option for diopter adjustment, just like in good binoculars. It just doesn't feel right to be wearing more layers of headgear than of clothing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Thanks, but I prefer my shutter glasses not costing 500 Euros plus waiting for them to be manufactured in addition to whatever the manufacturer wants. Because I kinda doubt they'd have shutter glasses with -11.0 cyl -0.25 sph dpt L, -10.25 cyl -0.5 sph dpt R high-refraction polycarbonate lenses in stock. And I doubt that even if they had and I was willing to shell out 600+ bucks for a peripheral I actually could use them because the glasses still wouldn't be made to fit my eyes exactly.

      NVidia might have a
  • I used to play TFC in my shutter glasses, it's fking great.
    Only problem is the HUD overlay because that's not in 3d

  • No! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spudnic (32107) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:06PM (#25041149)

    Speaking as a person who has vision in only one eye, I say NO!

    Come up with a way to wire 3d images directly to my brain.

    It'd be pretty cool to see what most of you folks see everyday.

  • http://www.iz3d.com/ [iz3d.com] has these special monitors (2 screens instead of a regular monitor, hence the 400-700 price tag), and supposedly work with existing directX technology.

    If they can make it 3d over existing 1 screen monitors, then I suppose that's an improvement. Seems possible already. So congrats to them.

    I'm still waiting for a 360 degree (hell, give me a visor with semi-crappy resolution) opposed to special monitors. All the objects are already loaded into directX/openGL, only a few tweaks to tell
  • Wouldn't a 120 Hz LCD screen work with existing shutter glasses? Will nvidia intentionally gimp their drivers like they did before if it doesn't detect the exact hardware its looking for? I'm sure my e-dimensional glasses would work fantastic if I could find a 120 Hz LCD monitor. Right now I settle for less than perfect 3d, but at max resolution its not so bad. Its a matter of getting used to it.
  • The effect on some 3D games was incredible, but the shutter glasses were a pain to deal with, there were ghosting issues, and even at 120Hz, it wasn't comfortable to use them for long. I actually would have preferred the red-blue glasses you used to get at the movie theaters (which would only need special drivers, not special hardware). I'd rather have the colors be a little off than have my frame rate cut in half.
  • by oren (78897) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:34PM (#25041715)

    3D glasses are like video phones. They re-surface every few years, when "new technology" makes them cheaper than the last generation, and then they vanish silently because people hate using them.

    In both cases the problem isn't technology. Video phones were feasible since the 50s or 60s. In the case of 3D glasses, the refresh rate was never the problem. After all, >80Hz displays were available for a long time now and 40FPS isn't exactly shoddy.

    The problem is that stereoscopic vision is a surprisingly minor part of "seeing in 3D". It is limited in range to about as far as you can jump. In fact ~5% of people don't have stereoscopic vision and they function fine, including driving. Many of them don't even know they lack it. I used to work somewhere hiring operators for stereoplotters (devices displaying stereoscopic aerial photos for analysis). Good ones were hard to find.

    Most of your "3D vision" actually comes from your brain analyzing a stream of 2D images. This is why you get a better 3D feel for movies than for static pictures. In real life, this effect is combined with the brain tracking how your head moves. It is this combination that gives most of the "true" 3D vision effect - *not* stereoscopy.

    This trick is used, for example, by snakes - a spitting cobra will sway its head side to side to get a 3D image of the world, so it can spit poison in your eye from 3-5m away. Stereoscopic vision would be useless for it since the snake's eyes are so close together.

    A 3D display system based on this idea is simpler to implement and easier to user than using 3D glasses. See the impressive demo in http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com] for an example.

    Notice how objects can appear to be *behind* you and how ducking and moving become a natural part of the experience. This could transform FPS...

    Sure, this only works for a single user at a time, but that's hardly an issue for gamers. The demo above uses the Wii motion sensor but it is also possible to use a simple webcam to track your head, as well as many other methods.

    Webcams are widely accessible, reasonably priced, and work with PCs and game consoles such as the Xbox 360. The user may need to wear a headband with two LEDs on it, but again that's not an issue for gamers. Besides it provides a marketing opportunity (like console panels). Smarter software could detect "heads" automatically without any additional hardware.

    All you need is the right update to the Xbox software, or wrapper for DirectX on the PC, and we could have widely spread "true" 3D experience *right now*. No new hardware, full resolution and refresh rate, and better user experience for first-person games.

    Like the guy in the video above said, "I want to see some games!"

  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:57PM (#25042181)

    nVidia's driver has supported shutter glasses (and several other stereoscopic view modes) for a while. The older forceware driver had issues with SLI but I never had that setup in my machine anyway. I did end up picking up a refurb widescreen CRT that can do 96hz refresh at 1900x1200, and obviously higher at lower refresh rates.

    Aside from the obvious issues of having half the effective refresh rate, there are issues with low gamma (which can be corrected in the driver) and ghosting from the other eye as the dark shutter isn't completely opaque. All in all, it's quite an enjoyable experience once you acclimate to these behaviors.

    I never noticed a performance hit in my gaming, as they seem to be doing a fairly simple re-arrangement of z-buffer data for the effect. The quality of the effect is largely dependent on support in the games themselves. Stuff like Half-Life 2 didn't setup their HUD in a manner that allowed it to display in the same place from both perspectives - It seemed as though it was a 2d overlay at the very front of the view. Others like GTA3 got the HUD right but things like street lights and such were in the same plane and would split into doubles when you looked "deeper" into the picture where they were supposed to be displayed.

    As it stands you have several options for driver based stereo:

    1) Shutter glasses - Fairly cheap these days, I think I paid $15 for mine, but low refresh and gamma issues. If you tilt your head more than about 5 degrees from one side to the other, the effect will disappear

    2) Colored Glasses - The nVidia driver can separate a stereoscopic view into 2 color fields to use with normal dual color glasses. This gives full refresh and is cheap but you end up with an effectively grayscale image, no issues with tilting your head I'm aware of.

    3) LCD screen glasses - expensive, probably limited to 800x600@60hz unless you want to take out a loan. No restrictions on head position.

    4) Dual monitors - This is one I've wanted to try as I have 2 monitors of the same make. You set up 2 monitors side by side with a mirror angled in such a way that one eye sees the reflection of one monitor when looking straight ahead while the other eye looks directly at other monitor. The driver then shows a mirrored stereo perspective on the second monitor. This has the advantages of being cheaper than LCD screen glasses, giving full resolution and refresh and no gamma issues. Of course your head has to remain in a fairly static spot for it to work - but at least you can tilt it without ruining the effect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Prune (557140)
      You're missing the best and most effective option: two projectors with polarizing filters that are orthogonal from each other, and then the simple non-electronic alternately polarized glasses (some are made from cardboard and you can buy them for a buck). You get a large 3D display distant from your eyes so that focusing is not an issue, the full refresh rate of the projectors, no ghosting effect, and very light glasses.

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