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Sharp to Sell 3D laptop for $3299 212

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the looking-for-the-sailboat dept.
prostoalex writes "The laptop that allows the user to view the 3D images without the special glasses is finally being sold by Sharp. The price tag is $3299. Actius 3DRD runs Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with 512 MB DDR SDRAM and is also capable of displaying two images in parallax."
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Sharp to Sell 3D laptop for $3299

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  • I guess I'll have to be happy with the fact that I won't be subject to the Windows 3D goatse worm.

    ew.

    • Windows 3D goatse worm

      Damn, such bad timing! Who'd have paid money to see Schwarzenegger in a movie about a city in the future on another planet ravaged by huge worms living in gaping holes? It could have been a sci-fi classic :(
  • Windows XPXP?
  • Well, that's nifty, viewing 3D without glasses and all...

    But you could just save $3299 and simply use some cellophane: http://individual.utoronto.ca/iizuka/research/cell ophane.htm
    • But you could just save $3299 and simply use some cellophane: link [utoronto.ca].

      That's not really a "true" 3d solution: you still have to cross your eyes to get it to work. Really, it's no different from splitting the screen down the middle and showing one image on each side. Like this [geocities.com].


    • I used to work for a company that made a $3000 pen computer (about ten years ago) in Oregon.

      There was zero market demand for the machine.

      I was the first one fired from this company for having 'an attitude problem'. Somehow I must have pointed out to someone there that the emperor had no clothes on.

      Now whenever a new expensive and totally useless computer novelity is released (or announced to the press as if it were about to be released), I have to wonder:

      Who paid for this thing to b
      • "Pen computer"!?! How does it work? I want one!


        • It was basicly a Palm Pilot with a larger LCD screen.
          There was a fad for 'pen computers' in the early 1990s that peaked with the Apple Newton.
          They never worked correctly and never could find a market.
          The Palm Pilot eventually developed from these early 'pen computers'. They were made by Go, Inc.; Momenta, Inc.; PI Systems and one or two other now long gone companys.
          The book "Start Up" by Jerry Kaplan (1994) describes the Pen PC scene at that time.
  • Heh... you just shelled out a load of cash to realize:
    The battery life is only 1.3 hours.

    Shoulda RTFA before you bought the laptop
    • Re:Battery Life (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      hey, if youre gonna pay $3299 for uber-geekdom another 100 or so for another battery isnt going to be a problem.

      Youre like the guy who doesnt want to buy a Porsche because the insurance is 'just too high'.
      If insurance prices is a problem, maybe the car isnt for you.

      zeke
    • I'd still buy it. I don't give a crap about laptop battery life, because I always treat laptops as portable desktop units, and I've always got a plug handy. The last time my battery in my laptop went below 90% was when the power went out.

      This think kicks ass. I just wish it was better than 1024x768.
    • This brings up a serious point: where's my 3D TFT to go with my desktop?
  • by JayBlalock (635935) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:09PM (#7200658)
    It seems like, for the parallax to work like they're descibing, there'd be a very narrow space you'd be able to stick your eyes to have the effect work. Also, I can't imagine how working with this thing for long wouldn't lead to eye-strain headaches - that's been true of virtually every similar "fake" 3D system.

    Anyone have an article with more info on it?

  • Sounds nice, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgranade (702534) <cgranade@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:10PM (#7200663) Homepage Journal
    Sounds nice, but I think that I'll wait until more content and programs are developed which take advantage of 3-D space. Besides, after shelling out $1900 for a new laptop with the same specs almost, I don't see $3300 for this sucker. Interesting, and I wish it luck, but it isn't for me yet.
    • Admit it....

      you are just waiting for multi-angle, multi-dimensional pr0n.

    • I wouldn't buy one of these, either. I couldn't imagine the 3D effect being all that great.

      Anyway, there's no point in holding out over the number of applications. Anything that uses OpenGL or Direct3D will be displayed in 3D. Any 3D game, application, etc should work just fine.

      One thing I've noticed, though, a lot of 3D applications cheat a little. You'll end up with some crazy anomolies occuring because of programming tricks and illusions of depth where none is actually processed in the 3D space. If you
  • It weighs about the same and runs about as long as my desktop with a UPS hooked up.

    Battery Life: Approx. 1.3 hours
    Weight: 10.2 pounds

  • Methods (Score:1, Flamebait)

    I read the article, but didn't find anything about how these worked other than a cop-out answer. I've experienced what you might call a 3D effect when different colors are displayed on my LCD monitor. Perhaps their screeen is an extreme of this phenomenon.

    Without glasses, I can only assume the screen shows different images as a function of the angle at which you view the screen (like these pictures that "move" because they have ridges in them with different pictures).

    I'm very curious to see how well t
    • you see another picture with another eye basically(two layers on top of each other and something on the top of it to hide the other picture from other eye).

      so viewing angle is definetely limited and it's not a miracle making machine. intresting anyways, even though it can be at this point be practical(and affordable) just as a movable '3d' showcase of company products.. or rich boys game toy.
  • by pmz (462998) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:11PM (#7200679) Homepage

    You know, a 10 pound laptop brings new meaning to "drag and drop".
  • by venicebeach (702856) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:11PM (#7200680) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone understand how this technology works? "Without special glasses" - Do you need to cross your eyes the whole time you are working on the computer?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      In soviet russia the laptop crosses your eyes for you!
    • ive seen stereoscopic pong [chalmers.se]before, but an OS? youd have to have an inch of waste on each side of the screen just for the background, not to mention text would be impossible to read. still, it sounds like fun. maybe bolt it on to FVWM or something equally plain and it might work.
    • by viware (680138)
      It uses a normal LCD display, with a second LCD display in front. Each pixel on the second one has 2 states (solid or transparent), and it blocks light from wither one eye or the other, therefore allowing different pictures to be sent to each eye.
      I believe the downside is you have to double the refresh...
    • Do you need to cross your eyes the whole time you are working on the computer?

      A $3000+ dynamic Magic Eye? Now I can get my Sunday Comics headache fix every day!

  • I hope I'm not misrepresenting Mac owners when I say, $3299? Damn that's cheap!

  • heh.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by AEton (654737) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:13PM (#7200696)

    From the details on Sharp's website:

    Includes 3 free Electronic ArtsTM games to showcase the capabilities of the RD3D! Test your cool with James Bond 007: Nightfire, hit the road with Need for SpeedTM Hot Pursuit 2 or putt for dough in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) 2003. All 3 are yours when you order the new RD3D for a limited time.

    Yeah, because there's a huge audience of 3D golf afficiandos with $3300 spare. (On the other hand, the integrated hybrid DVD-writer is pretty. It'd be neat if they had software for partial 3D rendering of DVD movies.

    So, uh, any guesses on how many years before this technology hits the $500 price point?

    • Is this a jab at Apple? :)

      /mac owner
    • So, uh, any guesses on how many years before this technology hits the $500 price point?

      Right when they stop making replacement batteries for it.
    • Yeah, because there's a huge audience of 3D golf afficiandos with $3300 spare.

      You should see the resolution on the 3D golf game I play. The color depth and lighting effects are amazing and you can even *feel* the wind. It's a bit frustrating because it's such a tough game but the realism can't be matched. And it's no trouble at all to find someone to play with a spare $3300. They're more likely to drop it on a new set of clubs though...
  • WTF?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Entropy248 (588290)
    Guys, how hard did you have to look to find an article without pictures?! I remember reading the original stories on /. and wanting to see pictures then too! I mean, how odd is it that an article about display technology doesn't have pictures? Wasn't that everyone's first thought? I wanna see if it's any good so that I can buy one. It's like buying a guitar without ever hearing what it sounds like. Or, like buying a CD without ever hearing the band... Ummm. Never mind that last, but you understand.
  • I've been viewing 3d images on my current screen [magiceye.com] for ages!
  • i'm blind in one eye, you insensitive clod...
    • Obligatory, Futurama:

      Mine does not work --Leela
  • pr0n (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kipple (244681) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:16PM (#7200730) Journal
    as it is widely known, to launch a technology you need to make it widely support pr0n. see also: "VCR," "Internet" and so on

    does this laptop comes with a full year membership..? I wasn't able to find it out from the links.. :)

  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:16PM (#7200732) Homepage
    Now we don't have to listen to people complain that Apple's prices are too high.
  • by demonbug (309515) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:16PM (#7200734) Journal
    I was wondering whether this 3D thing is hardware-based or software-based or a bit of both. One article doesn't say anything about it and the other was /.ed already.

    I seem to remember playing a game called Magic Carpet (I think from Bullfrog) years ago that had "actual" 3D images - the kind where you kind of cross your eyes to get the depth right. You know, like pictures of sailboats that you have to stare at for a while before you see anything.

    So, what exactly is new about this, and why would I want it?
    • You know, like pictures of sailboats

      Obligatory Mallrats quote:
      "When do I get to see the sailboat?" -- William Black

    • You know, like pictures of sailboats that you have to stare at for a while before you see anything.

      I think you mean pictures of schooners, right?
    • It is a combination.

      A few years ago before LCD screens went into style, nVidia (among others) supported 3d glasses for their video cards. They would work by darkening in front of one eye, refreshing the monitor with the image for that eye, and then darkening the other eye, and refreshing the monitor with the other image.

      When the program made a call to draw some triangles or whatever, it would be done to 2 separate framebuffers, and would usually take twice as long. The difference between the two is that t
  • I'm sure it would be useful in a medical enviornment or a lab or such that needs 3D images of MRI's etc. but for the average person is it really needed? Does Joe Whitecollar need to see the annual reports in 3D Excel, though it could really show the descending barcharts of profits.
    • If this follows the trend that previous new display technologies do, you can immediately expect enhanced:

      1. Games
      2. Porn

      After that, expect widespread adoption followed by support from mainstream Windows business apps, followed by support from Linux hardware and software vendors.

      This all hinges on the actual usefulness of the technology, the willingness of Sharp to support it and the willingness of vendors to develop for it.
  • by niola (74324) <jon@niola.net> on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:20PM (#7200769) Homepage
    While this idea sounds cool, I wonder if it will be one of those technologies that I cannot use. I am legally blind in my left eye and often these 3D technologies rely on the fact that vision in both of the users eyes is relatively equal in order to create the illusion. This reminds me of those stereoscope drawings from a few years back. I was never able to get them to work for me because of my imparied vision.
    • I wonder if it will be one of those technologies that I cannot use. I am legally blind in my left eye

      I hate to point out the obvious, and I don't mean to be insensitive, however, if you are blind on one eye, then you are not able to see third dimensionally in the first place, so stating the obvious that you will not be able to use this is either an attempt at some sympathy or quite a lapse in logical thinking.

      ---
      Which is worse: ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?
      • Well, actually that's not entirely true. Seeing the third dimension is not just the fact that you can see different images out of each eye. One major difference is that if you move your head, you should be able to see objects from a different perspective (for example, step to the right and objects which are close should shift relative to objects which are far away). So someone who is blind in one eye can still quite definately tell the difference between 3d and 2d, and to the best of my knowledge there a
      • I don't mean to be insensitive, however, if you are blind on one eye, then you are not able to see third dimensionally in the first place

        I don't know very much about this, but I don't think that "legally blind" necessarily means the same as totally blind. Here's one link [afb.org] that I found that describes "Amblyoplia" and mentions depth perception and 3D viewing

    • by delmoi (26744)
      If you are blind in one eye, then everything seems flat anyway. So there won't be an advantage for you, but for you a monoscopic images is already as good as it gets. You just won't be able to tell the diffrence, that's all. It won't be like a stare-o-gram, which requires sterioscopic vision. But more like those green holograms like you see on a credit card.
  • I'm a 3d freak... (Score:3, Informative)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Monday October 13, 2003 @01:20PM (#7200771) Homepage Journal
    and proud of it.

    After the last time /. published the story about the 3d laptop, I was engulfed by this urge to try out anaglyph (red-blue) games/software on my machine. What ensued was a frenzy of activity spanning about a week:

    1. I purchased a 3-d jigsaw puzzle from Wal-mart for $15, which came with red-blue glasses. (A wiser idea would've been to go see SpyKids 3d for $6 and save the glasses (which I did later anyway)).

    2. I downloaded and installed Anaglyph Stereo Quake [iprimus.com.au] and had hours of headachy fun.

    3. Downloaded some simple shooter/roller coaster type games from stereo3d.com [stereo3d.com] This site, btw, has a cool chart listing software for which 3d patches have been released, graphics cards supported etc. A really interesting quote about 3d API's:

    "The reason why 3D-API's are important for 3D-glasses is the fact games written for these interfaces supply genuine 3D-information in a standard format. These 3D-informations (i.e. depth-informations, Z-values) can be utilized by special universal 3D-glasses-drivers to create real 3D-imagery."

    Can't wait for the prices for 3d displays to come down.

  • The people making CG movies these days (Toy Story N, Shrek, Bug's Life, etc.) should re-run their rendering scripts with the "camera position" set off a few inches, so they can release 3D versions when the tech to watch it is widely available.

    Of course it ain't that easy. But it's got to be a lot cheaper than making a whole bloody new film. (I hope they archived the rendering scripts!) For the older movies they should be able to re-render in a small fraction of the time spent on the original.

    • The IMAX by my house is currently running "Antz in 3D". However, a little web searching reveals that it isn't the entire movie:


      If you enjoyed the movie 'ANTZ' in 1998 then the 3D rendition of the bar scene during which the entire colony dances together will amaze you.


      Still, it's only a little way from what you describe...I'm sure it won't be long.
  • these types of gimmicks are wasting the time of engineers across the world, these people could be working on important stuff, like a 20inch LCD thats folds and has no middle gap to fit in a very small footprint laptop. that would be fantastic. how big are "tabletops" going to get?
  • by DaLiNKz (557579)
    What about people like me who have lost natural depth perception using their eyes? When I was 3 my right eye squinted alot. I had an operation to fix it however it was never properly fixed, so I seem to be looking straight at someone, but still only seeing them with one eye. Basically.. i figure when it comes to 3d, as much as i love the concept I wont ever be able to see it properly, which will hurt me in the long run with computers i believe. Is there any alternatives to seeing 3d? or different 3d system
  • So what's the big deal? The last time I checked, everything was in three spatial dimensions. (Granted, a lot of people are very shallow in the third ...)


  • ...surely bring a harsh reality crashing in on a large company like Sharp.

    One good post and the site comes to a grinding halt, lol, if anything, perhaps they will see that their infrastructure needs some work... :)

    Nice job guys, seeing a high-quality /. effect on a website is truly something to behold.
  • by ErikZ (55491)
    Bah! Kids these days are so spoiled.

    Back in my day, all we had was 1-D laptops. Ever try typing on an infinitesimal point in space? It's hard!

    Then came the 2-D laptops, otherwise known as "Paper" to you cretins...

  • I can see it now... I won't be able to see anything! What manner of ungodly pr0n could you cook up for this display? Furthermore, how much more can I sell my art prints for, since they'll be in 3-D?
  • At my last job at SEGA, my lab was in charge of coming up with many different and pioneering ideas for new ways to play video games, many of which, for one reason or another, never made it to market.

    One of those was HOLO-GENESIS. It was a 3-D laser
    holographic projection device for the MegaDrive/geneis. It could have displayed 3-D rendered images, in full-color, in real-time, using a system of 3 red/green/blue lasers, and a finely-meshed micro-faceted surface which gave a pseudo 3-D effect based on carefull
  • I saw them at 2001 and 2003. They work OK, with better resolution this year. They draw both perspectives on the screen in quick alternation. Each eye latches on to the one that makes sense.

    Other no-glasses 3D at SIGGRAPH include the concave mirror (floating penny) and the spinning LCD plane. These arent very portable.

    Another interesting approach I'm waiting to see in person is the Stanford 3D phospher cube. A pair of lasers activates phospher dots in 3D locations. Science stores sell the static versi
  • by grooveFX (172130) *
    The company that designed this is Dynamic Digital Depth. I used to work for a company ScreenZone that had plasmas displays showing movie trailers in malls. DDD demo'ed their 3D display in our office (we were going to use it in our plasmas). It's actually a really cool technology. Although the image does not "pop" out at you like the effect with 3D glasses, you can see depth and the image changes based on your position to the screen. Can't wait to pick this laptop up!
  • I did some extensive work in stereoscopy in the late 1980's, so I know a little bit about this. Basically what Sharp is using is a lenticular grille.

    The key to stereoscopy is to feed different images to each eye. The brain interprets the parallax difference as depth. To see this sort of thing for yourself, close one eye, and hold two pencils vertically so that they line up one behind the other. Now switch eyes. The pencils appear to have "moved," and no longer appear lined up. This is because your o

  • (In Japan that is)

    There is an interview about the latest 3D phone here: page(EN) [nikkeibp.com]

    Also check out this page, which has a drawing explaining how this works: page(JP) [sharp.co.jp] (I guess - it is in Japanese :)

    As Sharp also has the Zaurus I'm waiting for a mobile phone with a 3D screen, running linux, and with a full keyboard - perhaps something similar to the C-760, only narrower. Oh, and dual 2mp cameras for taking 3D pictures.. (Sharp already has a 2mp mobile, so why not two of them.)

    It might not fly in the US

  • If this tech has already made it to the laptop market, it'll probably be in plenty of much more reasonably priced laptops in a couple years. (as well as stand-alone LCDs for desktops). I wouldn't be surprised if they took the same course as 3d cards... first only for enthusiasts, then high end systems, then ubiquitous.

    Maybe we'll finaly be done with CRTs... or maybe someone will figure out how to do this with CRTs as well :P
  • You'd think Sharp would put in a better graphics card. A GeForce4 440 Go is hardly drool inducing.
  • http://www.sle.sharp.co.uk/research/3d/3dbackgroun d.htm [sharp.co.uk]

    And you thought pokemon caused seizures!!
  • eye popping 3d

    Yeah,right...If it is a two dimensional surface - how is that any different than my current video games that map 3d objects to a 2d pixilated surface?

    I will believe it when I see it.
    • some people just don't RTFA, do they...
      • I did RTFA - and it didn't specify how it was supposed to work, other than 'parallax' - which could mean two pictures side by side on the monitor, or some other scheme (turns out to be some other scheme - sort of)

        However, I just followed one of comments that had a link to a company that patented a process for doing the parallax thing via a special LCD monitor. By his own admission, the area of the parallax effect is small (you would have to keep your head in one place infront of the monitor - kind of like
  • I hope they'll put this technology in the next model Zaurus.

    C'mon, it'll be like 3D penguins!

  • Where can I see one of these?

    Did you ever notice the Slashdot 20 second rule is fucking annoying when you don't want to pontificate, but just ask a simple question!

  • Why would they bother with using a P4 chip when Centrino is here and *way* better? IMHO, if you're going to buy a $3000USD notebook, then it better come with the latest and greatest hardware. 512MB of RAM is a good start, but what about wireless connectivity? MobileMark performance? And don't talk to me about gamers wanting to buy this laptop -- any respectable gamer would take that $3000 USD and buy a tricked out desktop system with a projector!
  • This is excellent news! Now we will be able to take advantage of the 3D extensions to C++ that AT&T were researching in 1998, details here [att.com] (last paragraph).
  • In addition to a software bundle designed to take advantage of the notebook's 3D capability, the Actius RD3D will include three of the hottest gaming titles available from Electronic Arts, Inc.


    Is it just me or is it a bit sad that the only way they can "sell" the 3D feature is by including games?

    I can just see companies forking out the money for those, for the average consumer I guess it's a bit out of price range, no?

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