Acer’s New Laptop Features SpatialLabs Stereoscopic 3D Screen

3D screen technology has already had its heyday, right? Not according to leading hardware manufacturer, Acer, who has announced a new type of 3D technology known as SpatialLabs.

The new 3D tech produces 3D images without requiring special glasses to view the end product, a marked departure from other 3D experiences and a not insignificant reason as to why general use 3D screens in people’s homes never truly took off.

SpatialLabs is set to debut on Acer’s high-performance ConceptD laptops, though you’re unlikely to see the tech rolling out to the consumer market in the short term.

Acer Launches SpatialLabs Glasses-Free 3D Tech

Acer is launching SpatialLabs with creators and designers in mind. The images and videos revealing the glasses-free 3D tech show a designer manipulating a model extending from the screen, all in marvelous 3D. Of course, static images and videos cannot capture the tech, so mockups carry a slight sense of amusement, with large objects placed somewhat clumsily outside the frame of a laptop screen.

Still, SpatialLabs combines some interesting tech to bring the 3D images to life, using the concept of stereoscopic images with some built-in hardware. For example, an integrated stereo camera with dual sensors tracks the user’s head and eye movements to maintain the field of view, while an optical lens projects each image to your eyes.

Accompanying the SpatialLabs tech is a suite of apps, primarily developed with 3D modeling in mind. For now, the target is architects and video game developers, with integrations for Maya and other tools that allow rapid prototyping.

Related: Acer Reveals World’s First 17" Chromebook

The SpatialLabs ConceptD prototype, as you might expect, is a powerful machine. The Verge was sent an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H, Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000, 32GB RAM behemoth of a laptop that retails for $2,900, and that’s without the SpatialLabs feature. The report notes that Acer “didn’t specify how much the extra stuff would add to the cost.”

Glasses-Free 3D Tech Not Coming to You Any Time Soon

With the eye-watering cost and lack of real-world applications, Acer’s exciting SpatialLabs 3D tech isn’t likely to make it to consumer devices any time soon.

Related: Acer Pledges to Using 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

As with any new tech, especially something as ambitious as glasses-free 3D imaging, the cost will inevitably fall as adoption increases. That said, even regular applications are fairly niche. Under the technology’s current guise, it is very much a solo experience. Although “regular” 3D technology sort of came and went, one of the redeeming factors was the shared experience (despite many of them being fairly awful in execution).

Not wanting to pour water on the fire of this undoubtedly cool technology, I think it will be very interesting to see how Acer continues to develop SpatialLabs and where glasses-free 3D technology ends up in the future.


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