3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

3D Vision Blog header image 4

Skype 3D Video Calls Possible, But in the Not So Near Future

August 29th, 2013 · 1 Comment · General 3D News

skype-logo

In an interview for the BBC Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett mentions something very interesting, namely that the company has been working on a technology for providing stereoscopic 3D video calls for a while now, however such feature may take quite some time before we see it released to the public (if at all).

“We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we’re looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market.”

The actual problem in realizing 3D video calls over Skype is not the part where you need to display the stereoscopic 3D data on the screen, but in capturing it in a 3D format. There are already quite a lot of 3D-capable computer displays, a lot of 3D HDTvs, even a few smartphones and tablets, so many people already could be able to see a 3D video chat if there is a means to capture it in 3D on the other side. Unfortunately there are just a few 3D-capable webcams out there (Minoru 3D for example), and only some devices with built-in stereoscopic 3D cameras (Lenovo L2363dwA 3D Vision monitor for example) available that could capture 3D video to send over Skype. There are however no 3D HDTVs equipped with a stereo 3D camera and generally we are just now getting webcameras integrated or available as an option for start TV sets and these are all standard 2D cameras. As for smartphones with 3D capabilities, there are just a few such as the LG Optimus 3D smartphone – equipped with an autostereoscopic 3D display and dual cameras, however the stereo 3D camera is on the back of the phone, so not very convenient for use for a video call.

Apparently Microsoft is well aware of the current hardware limitations, especially regarding the 3D video capture, and they are not in a hurry to bring a new feature that will provide an option to have 3D video calls while the 3D video capture hardware is not yet available on the market. Unlike some other companies Microsoft is rarely seen as a technology leader that will push new technologies such as 3D video calls ahead of time and thus create the demand and the market not only for the service, but for compatible products as well. Instead they are more conservative in their approach and will most likely wait for the technology to be ready and widely available before making Skype able to be used for 3D video calls. What is not taken into account here is that meanwhile some competitor may actually take the lead or a new company may come out and present a whole ecosystem for 3D video calls especially on the mobile devices side where things are happening very fast nowadays.

We should also consider that one of the main problems preventing the stereoscopic 3D technology to really boom is still the general lack of good content. Without enough good 3D content it is hard to convince anyone to buy a 3D-capable computer, 3D HDTV, 3D smartphone or a 3D tablet, and making good 3D content for such devices requires quite a lot of money to be invested. Furthermore the current not so good economic situation worldwide and the fact that the recent boom in stereoscopic 3D technology coincided with the financial crisis of 2007–2008 did not do any good. Yet again there are visionaries like James Cameron who believe in 3D’s future and are able not only to pioneer 3D technology, but also make big profits out of the good work they are doing. So it is possible to be done, though you may have to risk more than you are willing to at this moment and in the end you may still either succeed or fail.

In the end if you are excited about the possibility to have 3D video calls over Skype soon, then you should not get your hopes too high, this is something that may or may not happen, but if it does it will probably take a few more years. What sounds more reasonable is to see Skype celebrating its 15th birthday with the addition of 3D video calls and they are just at their 10th year at the moment, then again in five years Skype may not exist or they may not present 3D video calls at all.

- To read the full interview with Mark Gillett about 3D Video calls and not only over at BBC…

→ 1 CommentTags:······

SIG3D Stereoscopic 3D Classroom Basics Webinar

August 27th, 2013 · No Comments · Other S3D Tech

stereoscopic-3d-classroom-basics

Here is something that might be of interest for people that are considering using stereoscopic 3D as a tool in the classroom in order to be able to better keep the attention of the students, right in time for the beginning of the school year. The SIG3D Stereoscopic 3D Classroom Basics webinar took place a few days ago and a recording is now available online if you’ve missed the live one, so you can take a look and later today there will be a Q&A session. The presentation was held by Dennis Cafiero who is also the creator of Presente3D (a tool for making stereoscopic 3D presentations) and in it he makes a brief introduction on how 3D works as well as covering various 3D technologies for the classroom including anaglyph 3D, active and passive 3D stereoscopic solutions as well as glasses-free options (autostereoscopic 3D) with their pros and cons. SIG3D is an ISTE Special Interest Group for educators and innovators interested in stereoscopic 3D and is a part of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

- To watch the webinar online and for more information about the Q&A session today…

→ No CommentsTags:·····

SD&A Stereoscopic Games Competition Registration Extended

August 1st, 2013 · 1 Comment · General 3D News

sda-stereoscopic-game-comptition

There are a few more days left to register for participating in the First SD&A Stereoscopic Games Competition to be held at the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications 2014 Conference, the deadline has been extended to 5 August 2013. Have in mind that this is not a gaming competition for playing games in stereo 3D, but instead is a competition meant to encourage the creative use of stereoscopic depth in exciting new game designs (for new games supporting stereo 3D). At the point of registration for the competition you don’t have to game your game design ready, the games will be judged at the conference, however the game, or a video of the game, and a 500 word introduction must be submitted two months before the conference.

A panel of expert judges will review the game designs and the winner will receive a cash prize of $1000. The winning game design will be the one that has the best use of stereoscopic 3D in the view of the judges. Although not specifically mentioned, if you are developing a game for the Oculus Rift with stereoscopic 3D support you can also participate and show your creative use of stereoscopic 3D, though you should also bring your Rift Dev Kit with you in able to demonstrate your product.

- For more information about the SD&A Stereoscopic Games Competition…

→ 1 CommentTags:··