Experience the Metaverse on a Spatial Reality Display
There is a better way to the metaverse than VR. It was invented in 1838. The solution is much more realistic and does not require a headset. What is it?
In 1838, Sir Charles Wheatstone invented the Stereoscope which is a mind trick of creating a three-dimensional effect from two separate images. The trick is formulated by taking a camera and shooting a scene followed by moving the camera exactly one inch to the left to shoot a second image of the same scene. When the images are shown in isolation from the corresponding eye, the brain will create a three-dimensional effect.
If you look closely at the back of the lady’s head you will see that the right image is shot a few inches to the right of the left image. If you were to isolate these images through a divider (so that the eye cannot see the other image) the scene will come to life in 3d.
Dreaming Up Virtual Worlds With Avatar
In 2010 Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and many many others announced a commitment to making 3D the next generation of home entertainment and the latest in display technologies. Coupled with the movie of the year Avatar, The 2010 Consumer Electronic Show was 3D Mania. The next years saw exponential growth in 3D television sales…
2 million units were sold in 2010
24 million units in 2011
41 million in 2012
The Death of 3D?
Then in 2016, all 3D television manufacturers stopped selling any models due to a lack of interest. Why?
- 3D television was released two years after broadcasters switched from analog to digital meaning consumers just bought an HDTV
- 3d televisions were expensive compared to a regular TV
- It cost $100 for a pair of glasses to watch your expensive television. This meant for a family of four to watch together, they would all need glasses.
- Wearing glasses around other people is awkward and non-social.
After reviewing many of the Amazon reviews of 3D television, I have come to the conclusion that the social animal we call the human really does not like wearing glasses. From people complaining about the price to the fact that prescription glasses do not fit an unconscious amount of people complaining about headaches - it's safe to assume that the glasses are a main factor.
History WIll Repeat Itself With VR
As we move into the age of the metaverse, Facebook, ahem, Meta, is claiming that the next frontier revolves around the Oculus VR headsets. A world in which you can immerse yourself and become a Windows Phone Avatar. What if we are making the same mistake with VR that we did with 3D televisions?
Unfortunately, the public still holds a largely hands-off attitude toward virtual reality. In fact, a recent survey by YouGov reveals that users just aren’t that interested in the metaverse or VR technology. The survey results note only 36% show an interest in the metaverse. Even more, telling is that 72% stated they have no plans to wear a VR headset within the next year. These aren’t the numbers of a technology poised to quickly go viral.
A Better Technology Right Under Our Eyes
A spatial reality display is an LCD display that is covered with a micro-optical lens that divides the image into the left and the right eyes that allows for stereoscopic viewing. The best part about the experience is that the viewer does not have to wear any glasses. Instead, the display has a high-speed vision sensor that follows your eye movements down to the millisecond.
One of the critical drawbacks of 3D televisions was that the stereoscopic experience was horizontal. Most of the glasses only worked from left to right 3D viewing. An SRD does not have this issue as it follows your eyes up, down, and even depth - to modify the lenses to adapt to your view.
Spatial Reality Displays Are Available For Purchase
Sony has created a consumer SPD for $4,999 that you can purchase today. The reviews are phenomenal. The ability to create an object in three dimensions while moving that element in space feels as if the object is tangible. This means that this technology is not being tested in labs - but rather a consumable product is upon us.
Check out the Sony Trailer below...
VR vs Spatial Reality
The direction of Spatial Reality Displays has far more realistic use cases than VR. Without adjusting any settings, a person can sit behind the SPD screen and begin to interact with the content. The content itself is presented as if the object appeared in real life. VR has the challenge of displaying depth from a screen that sits 3 inches in front of your face. Although recent devices show promise, there are still many that complain about headaches. SPD should not have that problem due to the naturalness of the magic trick. The screen itself is simply displaying light to each eye as if the object actually existed in space.
What is very interesting to think about is that if this technology becomes fast enough it might be possible to bend the light to two or more viewers at one time. This would allow for multi-person viewing which is impossible with VR.
Lastly, not wearing glasses is still the winning formula. Human beings are social creatures and placing multiple humans into a space to share an experience will not lead to VR headset isolation. Surely a family will not join in the living room with 4 headsets on. What SPD has demonstrated is that the possibility of 3D is upon us today.