I’m sure you probably haven’t heard about the company Bit Cauldron, I sure haven’t up until recently. It is a relatively new company that is just starting to be mentioned regarding the exponentially increasing interest around Stereoscopic 3D everything. Bit Cauldron was formed in November 2008 to focus purely on enabling a world-class 3D experience at home by addressing multiple critical gaps in the 3D ecosystem. The three founders of the company are quite interesting with Sam Caldwell, VP of Engineering at Bit Cauldron that is also founder of a ZigBee RF/ID company, with ZigBee being the wireless radio communication technology that is being used by Bit Cauldron’s products. Bit Cauldron has an advisory board, also made up of quite interesting people, including guys like Geoff Phillips, ATI Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Television Business Unit. I’m mentioning ATI as it seems that Bit Cauldron and their first product in the form of active shutter glasses for stereoscopic 3D support will be used by ATI for providing a complete Sterescopic 3D solution to be used with ATI cards. This will however require you to have a high refresh rate display – one of the new 120Hz LCDs for instance, along with additional software that will be able to provide the stereoscopic 3D content to the display such as iZ3D’s driver.
Currently there are two types of shutter glasses being listed on the company’s website and these are: BC3000 DLP Link 3D Glasses and BC5000 Radio Frequency 3D Glasses. The first one – BC3000 is designed to be used with 3D HDTVs or 3D-ready projectors that utilize DLP Link technology with the glasses having a built in DLP Link receiver. The second product – BC5000 is designed to be used with 3D-Ready computer displays, these glasses incorporate an IEEE 802.15.4-2003 (ZigBee radio) transceiver for communicating with the computer (using USB connector) or again with a 3D HDTV incorporating a VESA 1997.11 standard stereoscopic connector. One thing to note regarding the BC5000 glasses is that they seem to be designed for usage with ATI GPUs as the official website mentions on the product page that there are: Transmitters available for 3D-Ready TVs and PCs with AMD GPUs. So this might as well be what ATI has been referring to Stereoscopic 3D support available for their current line of Radeon HD 5xxx series GPUs.
A USB transmitter can attach the BC5000 shutter glasses to an Advanced Micro Devices’ GPU to create the word’s best 3D experience for 3D Blu-ray movie viewing and Gaming.
The BC5000 3D Glasses achieve their 3D Synchronization using Radio Frequency Technology (the ZigBee radio) which is claimed to offer: no line-of-sight interferences, no infra-red remote control interference, no florescent light and sunlight interference – things that might sometimes create problems to solutions that use IR (infrared) transmitter for synchronization like 3D Vision for example. Bit Cauldron’s synchronization technology is also claimed to eliminate ghosting with multi-microsecond accuracy, offer adjustable duty cycle for multiple display types and provide glass lenses that have clearer and brighter picture. The lenses of the glasses should offer multi-frequency 50/100Hz, 60/120Hz, 84 Hz operation and be even 240 Hz display ready, which is something that still needs to be verified when the true high Hz TV sets hit the market later this year (3D Vision glasses should also be compatible with these). The battery inside the BC5000 3D Glasses is a rechargeable Lithium Polymer one that can be recharged over a micro USB connector up to 500 times with each full charge providing at up to 60 hours of use.
Bit Cauldron states that their shutter glasses are available only under private labels and to OEM’s, meaning that you won’t be able to get it directly from them, but buy it with your video card for instance or branded with another name. Most likely ATI will offer these as a kit with a suitable display to complement a stereoscopic 3D solution that will work on PCs with ATI video cards, but we’ll have to wait and see along with checking of the shutter glasses are as good as Bit Cauldron claims they are. Also these shutter glasses are expected to be more affordable than other alternatives, but there is still no word on what the prices will be. Another thing to not is the fact that if they will rely on iZ3D’s Driver is the fact that the latest software still has only beta shutter support that is having issues with syncing the signal, so we’ll also need new driver. So don’t wait to see these right away available on the market, but I’ll try to keep you updated as I’m quite interested in how will things develop…