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1/12/2012
11:54 AM
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iPhone 3-D: Spatial View's 3DeeScreen Does It

Spatial View demonstrates its iPhone and laptop 3-D lenses, plus content portal, at CES



Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
3-D continues to be a major topic of conversation at CES, like it was last year, and the year before, and will likely be next year, too. However, 3-D smartphones (glasses free), in particular, have failed to catch on--the quality leaves a bit to be desired, or worse, it causes headaches and nausea. Many people turn 3-D off in the Nintendo 3DS.

That doesn't mean it's time to give up, and Spatial View has a different solution entirely: a lightweight lenticular lens (the 3DeeScreen) that snaps onto a protective case on an iPhone. It costs $29.99. You download the Spatial View 3Dee Central app, then spend a little time calibrating the 3-D experience, and away you go, browsing content from the app.

However, the lens is meant to work with content that Spatial View makes available via its 3Dee Central portal service. The company is forming content partnerships, and that content can be viewed on Internet-connected devices, including 3-D TVs, in addition to laptops and mobile phones. This content does not require Spatial View's hardware.

[ Check out what CES presenters see as top tech innovations on the horizon. Read Consumer Tech Marches Closer To Star Trek. ]

The problem here, of course, is there isn't a ton of 3-D content. And really, there isn't much on the interwebs anyway, which is why Spatial View saw an opportunity. (There is an entire section of YouTube 3-D content.) The company has 130 content providers and about 200 pieces of content--some free, some for a fee. While the company isn't ready to get into 3-D games just yet, it wouldn't be a bad idea to become a portal for those as well.

The company just announced a content partnership with Fisher-Price, which will offer a selection of its View-Master image archive, which includes thousands of historic images dating back to 1939. The content will be available in late first quarter and will be sold in packs of 18 to 21 images for $1.99.

Spatial View makes a laptop version of its 3-D lens (mounted using magnets), and it uses the laptop's webcam to do a little eye tracking in order to calibrate the image properly for the viewer's eyes. This eliminates ghosting, and adjusts for position and distance.

Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.

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