3D technology for home use has been a flop pretty much every time it’s been tried, with the arguable exception of the Nintendo 3DS. But Sony thinks it’s finally cracked the formula with its Spatial Reality Display, a 15.6-inch 4K monitor that can display 3D video without any need for glasses. It’s going on sale in November for a whopping $5000.
The operating mechanism here is a combination of factors: a lenticular display (like the 3DS) that can show slightly different images at different angles, and a high-speed vision sensor that tracks a single user’s movement to make adjustments.
When combined with some advanced software, this allows the display to adjust its rendering environment to your position at the same time that it tweaks the stereoscopic images for each of your eyes. Translation: move your head in the real world, the 3D environment shifts to match.
Obviously it’s more or less impossible to demonstrate the functionality of this over the web, since you’re reading this on a conventional 2D screen. Sorry about that.
Applications for the Spatial Reality Display are almost entirely limited to the creative and industrial fields at the moment. The monitor has baked-in support for Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, and Sony’s SDK will allow you to adapt other 3D content to work with it. On the more mundane side of things, it includes one standard HDMI port, a USB-C port for data, stereo speakers, and the screen panel has 500 nits of illumination.
$5000 will be a lot to ask when you can achieve broadly similar results with a VR headset, but as the rare proof of concept that makes its way to a retail shelf, this thing is encouraging. More, please, just wait a moment for me to get the mortgage paperwork in order.