CES 2023: The future of Metaverse and VR depends on these glasses-free 3D screens

metaverse. metaverse. metaverse.

It seems like half the companies at CES this year were all thrilled with the buzzword that is Metaverse. And along with the metaverse, virtual reality was also all the rage at CES this year. There have been countless prototypes of wearable devices that attach to your face and immerse you in virtual worlds where you can see, feel, and in some cases even smell your cyber environment.

While Metaverse was being billed as the next big thing in technology at CES, another VR technology at the show seemed to be the revolutionary true immersive 3D technology: glasses-free 3D TVs and monitors.

That’s right, 3D displays they made not they require 3D glasses, and the images looked amazing. In fact, it seemed obvious that for Metaverse and VR to become mainstream, everyday technology as many companies hope, they need glasses-free 3D TVs and monitors to succeed.

3D screens without Breylon headphones

3D screens without headphones from Breylon. The Breylon Fusion made its CES debut and can be seen in the background.
Credit: Matt Binder/Mashable

Brelyon was a company that I ran into at CES in this space. An MIT spin-off, Breylon makes headset-less virtual displays and was at the event showing off a prototype for its new VR display. This prototype has a rounded shape like a VR headset, but you don’t actually wear it. It’s too big to do that anyway – it’s a full 8K OLED widescreen desktop monitor. The company calls it the Brelyon Fusion and says it has the world’s largest field of view for an OLED display. And he sure felt that way when he was standing in front of the monitor.

So is the Breylon Fusion really any good?

The images from the Breylon Fusion were amazing. The image was clear and the colors were rich. It looked like any 3D image you’ve ever seen. Usually when I watch a 3D movie that requires glasses, the images don’t look as sharp as 2D. Another problem is that I often have to take my glasses off because my eyes start to get fatigued. Sometimes I even catch myself squinting. I didn’t experience any of that while viewing these 3D displays without glasses.

And Breylon also had other equally impressive monitors to show off. One of their products basically layers images on top of each other to create the most lifelike 3D images you’ve ever seen. The best way to explain it is to imagine the images on the headset screen when Tony Stark dons the Iron Man helmet in the Marvel movies. Now imagine being able to see those overlays on top of other background images, but without the need to wear a helmet or glasses or anything at all.

Breylon’s products are not yet available to consumers and are currently priced in the five figures. However, I did find another 3D monitor without headphones from a company called 3D game market says they will launch their consumer monitor, called 3DGMin the coming months, and at a price of less than $2,000.

3D monitor without glasses 3DGM

The 3DGM glasses-free 3D monitor from 3D Gaming Market.
Credit: Matt Binder/Mashable

The 3DGM is a glasses-free 32-inch 4K 3D desktop monitor that doesn’t even necessarily require you to stand directly in front of the screen. 3D Game Market says that the monitor is equipped with AI eye-tracking technology that optimizes 3D images to match your position. And it looked very good.

(It’s important to note here that the way glasses-free 3D viewing technology works makes it virtually impossible to capture on camera. So, unfortunately, readers, you won’t be able to experience the 3D images in the screen photos I’ve included. Hopefully you’ll soon have a chance to experience it for yourself!)

How do 3DGM and Breylon 3D displays compare?

One difference between the 3DGM and Breylon model of devices was that 3DGM was more like the traditional type of 3D experienced in 3D movie theaters, only without the glasses of course. Images weren’t as sharp as Breylon’s screens. And looking at the Breylon monitors, it felt like 3D images were created by going deeper and deeper. in the screen. Sometimes she couldn’t tell how close she was to the real Breylon monitor. The 3DGM, however, felt that the images appeared directly outside from the screen and comes towards me.

This is not a hit on 3DGM at all. It’s clear that each company is using different methods to create glasses-free 3D TV. Breylon’s version may have a bit more of a wow factor, but unlike Breylon, if 3DGM’s current plans come to fruition, the company will bring out its monitor soon and at a price consumers can actually afford.

And it’s not just startups that are working in 3D without glasses. Although I did not see it, our friends in PC Mag also reported on a new Asus gaming laptop that comes with a built-in headphone-free 3D monitor.

It should be pretty clear why VR and the metaverse haven’t taken off yet in the way many companies had hoped. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has billions lost focusing on their VR platform, and that’s the company that basically started this whole current Metaverse trend. Right now, it’s hard to imagine people wearing crude VR headsets and using them as a normal everyday device. Imagine if, instead of having to strap on a bulky headset, users could simply plonk down in front of their monitor and enter virtual reality metaverses the same way they browse any other part of the Internet.

While in Las Vegas for CES, I came across a store that made the whole issue crystal clear. Right there on the Las Vegas Strip was a company that marketed virtual reality experiences to tourists. Marketing images featured cartoon images of people wearing headsets not unlike Meta’s Quest 2 VR headsets.

In the year 2023, virtual reality is still, well, very slick. If companies want their immersive virtual worlds to go beyond a mere tourist attraction, that success depends on the take-off of 3D displays. Until then, the Metaverse is stuck with the headphones that not many I want to use

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