It has been a little over 5 years since the start of this blog, even though I has been a stereoscopic 3D enthusiasts for much longer, the reason for the existence of the blog was Nvidia’s 3D Vision. I was really excited when they have announced it and when the first 3D Vision-ready monitors started appearing on the market I was eager to get one as I really did see the potential that the technology had for gaming. And back then since it was something really new and exciting I decided to share my experience, knowledge and other useful information with other users that were just starting and this is how this blog was born.
Now, five years later we are seeing a deja vu as the situation with 3D Vision is pretty much the same as with the Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Drivers that were available before the birth of 3D Vision. Nvidia did create a market and strong demand for products at first, however they slowly start to neglect things and in a few years they kill the market. This is exactly what is happening with the 3D Vision now as Nvidia hasn’t done almost anything new in many months. The latest bigger things were the announcement of the G-Sync monitors, some with 3D Vision support, that however were greatly delayed to market. The other more recent thing is the addition of “3D Compatibility Mode”, but the more important thing – supporting and pushing game developers to integrate Stereo 3D support in games has been long gone. It is not about fixing games after they have been released, but integrating proper stereo 3D support while they are being developed.
The stereo 3D gaming community can do the fixing with the help of tools like Helixmod wrapper, however even the game modders are giving up on 3D Vision as instead of helping them Nvidia seems to be doing just the opposite. This is really discouraging and if Nvidia does plan to abandon 3D Vision like they did with their old Stereoscopic 3D Drivers, then they should at least open the project and not kill it completely. The people in different stereoscopic 3D gaming communities that are using 3D Vision have asked numerous times that Nvidia works on something or improves another thing in order for 3D Vision to become better and easier to be used, but we have not seen any results. This is really discouraging and many people have just decided that it is enough for them, some of you might of thing this for me as well due to the last few months with no updates here…
I have not given up on stereo 3D and 3D Vision, at least not yet. I was just busy with other things and have decided to get some rest from 3D, not that very much was happening with 3D Vision anyway, and the Facebook and Oculus deal was a bit of surprise and I wanted to see what will come out of it. So far it seems that things are still good and I’m about to get my hands on the pre-order of the DK2 hopefully next week, so all is not lost. However Oculus Rift is not something that can replace 3D Vision, these are two different things, and even though some of their features and functionality do overlap they are still not the same thing. VR with 3D support is an interesting new concept, but for really good results you need content developed especially for the device, meaning that you not only need a good hardware, but good software support as well. At least here Oculus is doing much, much, much better than Nvidia as Oculus Rift is their only product, unlike Nvidia that has many products and technologies and cannot focus solely on 3D Vision. So interesting times could still lay ahead of stereo 3D technology, so we’ll have to wait and see..
Soon after the announcement of the new 27-inch BenQ XL2720Z 3D-capable monitor, the company has just announced two new 24-inch 3D-capable displays that essentially bring the new features of the larger model to the smaller 24-inch ones. The new BenQ XL2411Z and BenQ XL2420Z will probably replace the older XL2411T and XL2420T/TX series, but the not so good news is that these two new models expected early next year will not feature support for the new Nvidia G-Sync technology. Nvidia has promised us the G-Sync DIY upgrade modules before the end of the year, but we are still not seeing these available, and availability of models with G-Sync support built-in early next year, but it seems things may get delayed a bit. BenQ XL2411Z and XL2420Z are suppose to be available in early 2014 and probably not too long after their release on the market BenQ may also announce new series that are supposed to provide G-Sync support as well as the company is an Nvidia launch partner for the G-Sync technology.
Enough with G-Sync for now, the BenQ XL2720Z and the new smaller BenQ XL2420Z and XL2411Z monitors that will feature 3D Vision support with an external 3D Vision kit (including IR emitter as it is not built in) as well as 3D LightBoost technology. However, apart from the 3D LightBoost support (strobing backlight) these display feature a new Motion Blur Reduction technology developer by BenQ that is supposed to work in a similar way as the 3D Lightboost, however BenQ’s solution will be video card type independent and you will not need to “hack” it to work in 2D mode as well. Other interesting things about the new BenQ Z-series is a the addition of Low Blue Light mode that allows gamers to adjust the blue light levels of the monitor – what is considered to be the major cause of eyestrain when using computers for long periods of time. Another new feature introduced a these monitors is the Gaming-comfort Flicker-free technology that is supposed to eliminate noticeable flickering of the backlight when you lower the brightness level of the monitor (no PWM dimming of the backlight).
An interesting new project in the form of a VR game with Oculus Rift support intended to help people with depth perception issues such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eye). The game Diplopia takes advantage of the wealth of new information in scientific studies that have come out in the past couple of years to create an experience that will effectively train people who have a suppressed eye to use that eye in conjunction with their good one. Evidence shows that with a simple well designed game it only takes 1-2 hours a day for 2-3 weeks for a person to get measurable improvements in their vision.
The game is inspired by Breakout and DX Ball, where you bounce a ball around a room with a paddle to destroy blocks, unlocking power ups. By manipulating the contrast of game elements such as the bricks, ball, and paddle you can force the brain to integrate the two images. By showing only some of the game elements to each eye Diplopia forces the player to incorporate information coming from both in order to win. It is interesting to note that the developer of the game James Blaha, a programmer with crossed eyes causing a loss of depth perception, so the development of the project was started also in order to help treat his eye condition and potentially restore the normally in 3D using stereo vision as well as to help other people with similar eye problems. Diplopia is currently ongoing a crowdfunding campaign at indiegogo and has already moved past the initial goal of $2,000 USD.