castAR is a projected augmented reality system that displays holographic-like 3D projections right in front of you inspired by Star Wars’ holographic depictions. It is another alternative to Head Mounted Displays that allows you to bring you augmented reality and virtual reality experience in a compact and lightweight glasses-type of product. What differs the castAR system from HMD devices like the Oculus Rift is that instead of an LCD display it relies on micro projectors that project the light on retro-reflective material.
Time to share some personal impressions from the VorpX beta driver that adds support for the Oculus Rift VR headset in games that do not have official support for the device. I’ve purchased a beta license soon after it has been released earlier this month and played a bit with the software, so I can share some experience about how it works, what I like and what I don’t and so on as a user. If you already have a Rift Development Kit or are planning to get one, then getting a license for the VorpX beta driver is definitely a must do thing (costs around $40 USD) as the software really works very well considering it is still a beta. Aside from the VorpX, there are other alternative solutions that offer similar support for playing games that are not specially designed to support the Oculus Rift HMD and these are the Vireio Perception (open source driver) and DDD TriDef 3D software that offers beta support (trial mode available, the software is commercial)
Some good news for 3D Vision users, the just announced Nvidia G-SYNC technology will also work in stereoscopic 3D mode when playing games with 3D Vision as well by eliminating screen tearing, input lag, and stutter. All you will need to do is have a Kepler-based graphics card like at least GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost and get a G-SYNC-enabled monitor or get a DIY Upgrade kit for an ASUS VG248QE monitor if you already have the monitor available. Nvidia says that the first DIY Upgrade modules will be shipping later this year for the most eager users willing to try the new technology. The Nvidia G-SYNC Do-it-yourself kit will cost approximately $175 USD and come with 1 year warranty.
Apparently Nvidia has figured out a way to do a better synchronization between the GPU rendering the frames and the display showing them by adding an additional G-SYNC module inside the display (this means new gaming displays coming out with the module built-in them). The idea is that with this G-SYNC module you are supposedly getting a V-Sync off like experience in terms of responsiveness, but without the tearing of the image displayed on the screen. So less input lag and better responsiveness regardless of the FPS and supposedly no more tearing and stuttering.
The mobile devices markets are booming as more and more people are switching to smartphones and start using tablets in their everyday life, but what has happened with 3D smartphones and 3D tablets? If the mobile devices market is growing a lot constantly and quite fast why we are not also seeing new mobile devices with stereoscopic 3D capabilities.
If you are already a gamer playing in stereoscopic 3D mode or are at least following what has been happening with stereo 3D you have probably noticed that lately stereo 3D gaming is being left aside and both AMD and Nvidia are focusing on 4K gaming as the next big thing in gaming. The question here is if 4K gaming will become the norm in a few years or it will have fate that stereo 3D gaming does currently have – not supported and left to the community hoping that it will keep it alive. Nvidia has done great by reviving its old stereoscopic 3D drivers and pushing both hardware manufacturers and gamers to go and try stereoscopic 3D gaming a few years ago and thus creating the big market for stereoscopic 3D gaming itself. Of course there were also other solutions already available at that time, but they did not have the needed resources and the interest in general in stereo 3D was not that strong back then. AMD on the other hand also supported kind of stereoscopic 3D, but it was “outsourced” to partners such as iZ3D and DDD, because the company never did have very strong interest in stereoscopic 3D gaming.
I has been about a year since GoPro has announced the HERO3 action camera and now they just announced a new version called GoPro HERO3+ in Black and Silver edition and only the White edition did not get an updated version. The new GoPro Hero 3+ cameras are a bit smaller in size and lighter and offer better battery life and finally glass optics long with faster WiFi. That is essentially what the improvements are, along with some new accessories, however there is still no official 3D camera accessory either for the older HERO3 or for the newer Hero 3+ camera, so apparently official 3D support for GoPro is not on the list of important things to have as a feature. The good thing is that we are seeing various community developed solutions to use two GoPro HERO3 cameras to record 3D video mostly due to the very compact size that a 3D rig using two GoPro cameras can provide.
Here is something that looks very promising and might be able to provide good virtual reality-like gaming experience when playing video games on larger displays such as an HDTV or a projector, especially for FPS games. And although it is not specifically designed for stereo 3D support, it could turn out to be a great addition to a 3D HDTV, by making the experience even more immersive. What the company called IMMERSIX is offering is a solution providing immersive experience with 6 degrees of freedom by being able to track independently markers on your gun and your head movement and this translates into realistic motion inside the game world
Here is a short list of the announced movie titles for release in 2014 and which ones will be shot in 3D and which will be converted to 3D in post production according to the website Real or Fake 3D. The 3D movies released (and to be released) this year that were shot in 3D were more as a number than the ones that were converted to 3D in post, even though some of the most anticipated movies are using 2D to 3D conversion. And so far this trend will seem to continue in 2014 as well, but you should be aware that even if a movie was shot in 3D does not mean that it will be a great one and even if 2D to 3D conversion is used if made well and properly used the movie might end up good.
There is a new interesting project on Kickstarter called vrAse that reminds me a lot to Oculus Rift, however the goal of the project here is to provide you with an easy way to turn your existing smartphone into a stereoscopic 3D-capable VR and AR device. You can think of the vrAse as everything that the Oculus Rift provides besides the display and the display along with the extra features comes with your smartphone when you insert it in the vrAse. The idea is to provide an easy and affordable solution that can provide good results just by adding your smartphone in the mix and you are not limited to just a single model smartphone, meaning easy upgradeability at a later time by just changing the phone – for example to get higher resolution, faster processing for games, or better camera for AR.