Cube made of 512 LEDs does 3D with calculus, not glasses

via Engadget by Tim Stevens on 3/21/11

Cube made of 512 LEDs does glasses-free 3D for real (video)

No goofy active shutter glasses, no headache-inducing parallax barrier screens, no optical trickery here. This is a pure 3D display — unfortunately done at a resolution of just 8 x 8 x 8. It’s a hand-built LED cube created by Nick Schulze, powered by Arduino, and driven largely by Matlab. Yes, Matlab, an application you probably deleted less than three minutes after signing off on your calculus final. We can’t help you find that installation disc again, but we can encourage you to enjoy the video of this 3D matrix of blinkenlights after the break, and you can get the full details on how to build your own at the other end of that source link. 

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T-Mobile’s LG G-Slate priced at $529.99 with a two-year contract

T-Mobile’s LG G-Slate priced at $529.99 with a two-year contract

By Joanna Stern posted Mar 22nd 2011 12:50AM

Well, here ya go! T-Mobile has finally decided to come clean with the pricing on its 8.9-inch, 3D-capable LG G-Slate, and well, it isn’t cheap. The Honeycomb, Tegra 2-powered tablet will set you back $529.99 after an $100 mail-in-rebate and that’s only if you agree to a two-year contract. Of course, this thingcan record 3D video, connect to T-Mobile’s “4G” HSPA+ network, and output 1080p video, but that still seems like quite a bit of money when you consider you’re also locked into paying at least $20 in data every month. Ready to grace us the WiFi version, LG? Hit the break for the short press statement. 

EVO 3D specs confirmed: 1080p 2D video, 720p 3D, dual cameras, 1.2GHz dual-core CPU

via Engadget by Vlad Savov on 3/21/11

CTIA snooping is in full swing today, as the HTC EVO 3D has seen its major specs divulged courtesy of a document within the exhibition halls of the show. True to our initial scoop and subsequent spec leak, we’re looking at a 3D-capable successor to the EVO 4G, this one rocking a 1.2GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm’s MSM8660), a 4.3-inch qHD ( 960 x 540) display, dual 5 megapixel cameras around back, and the sweet, sweet promise of 1080p video playback. That’s constrained to 720p for viewing 3D content, but there’s no denying this new Sprint smartphone’s shaping up to be yet another multimedia powerhouse. Specs of the EVO View tablet have also been snapped, marking it as indeed a Sprint rebadge of HTC’s 1.5GHz, 7-inch Flyer slate. Look for both to become official at Sprint’s presser later this week.

Why Does it Cost $300 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 12/21/10

Why Does it Cost 0 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

Who’s buying 3DTVs and 3D Blu-ray players? People who watched 3D movies in theaters, then want to re-live the experience at home. So why are the top movies, like Avatar and Coraline only available as bundles with hardware? What’s the deal?

It’s a matter of greed. Home theater 3D is still a crawling infant, meaning most of the population still needs to buy hardware. But what’s the differentiating factor between Samsung’s 3D set and Panasonic’s, or even Sony’s, if you’re a Costco shopper? How can normal people tell the difference between any Blu-ray player that’s not the PlayStation 3? It’s pretty much impossible, which is why companies’ ads don’t rely on specs or saying their version does 3D better.

But what they are relying on right now is taking movies hostage in order to force people’s hands. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Avatar, the most wanted 3D movie of all time, is only available in a $300 “starter bundle” from Panasonic that includes two rechargeable 3D glasses. How to Train Your Dragon is in a “starter kit” from Samsung for $280, which includes two 3D active shutter glasses. What happens if you already have one type of TV and just want the other type of movie? Looks like you get two pair of glasses that you can’t use on your set.

There’s also Shrek and Monsters vs. Aliens, which your kids will ask you for, because they’re kids, and they want to see their movies in 3D. Because they’re kids. Kids who don’t know the value of $300.

Why Does it Cost 0 to Buy Avatar on 3D Blu-ray?

So what if you go on eBay and try to get some scalped Avatar action? Oh hello, I’m out $150 for a $30 movie. Thanks jerks!

It gets worse. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Coraline are only available if you buy a Panasonic 3DTV. A TeeVee! And Bolt, which I’m sure is a fine dog movie in the realm of dog movies, is only gettable with Sony TVs. Same with Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Retailers are also getting in on the exclusivity. My Bloody Valentine and The Last Airbender are Best Buy exclusives, whereas Amazon has some IMAX movies locked down. This, of course, is much less of a big deal, because Best Buy’s movies work just fine on any player.

The good news is that some of these seem to be timed exclusives. Alice in Wonderland was the same $300ish dollars if you bought the pack, but is now available for separate purchase. And there are a number of less desirable (apparently?) titles like Resident Evil, The Polar Express, Step Up 3D and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs that the manufacturers didn’t think would entice anybody to spend $300 on.

Point being, manufacturers seem to have their heads up each other’s asses on this one. If you want people to get on board your 3D train, don’t make content for it so hard to get! Imagine the scenario where you could only watch NBC’s 3D channel if you had a Samsung TV, then had to get a separate set entirely for ABC’s 3D content. Who’s going to throw down a couple thousand dollars for that scheme?

Living World lets you hold the Milky Way in the palm of your hand

via DVICE by Adario Strange on 3/7/08

livingworld21.jpg

One of best parts of Will Smith’s first slapstick-sci-fi “Men In Black” film is the part when an entire galaxy is found living inside a tiny marble. The scene was a mind-blowing moment in sci-fi history and now you can relive the cognitive dissonance too with design firm Living World’s Milky Way galaxy 3D model. Created using real space data culled by Eiichiro Kokubo, Assistant Professor at Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory and Osaka University‘s Kato Tsunehiko, the three dimensional cube encased model does indeed look you’re holding an entire galaxy in the palm of your hand. But holding 80,000 laser rendered stars in your hand isn’t cheap, the cube costs 80,000 yen ($770) here.

Via PingMag

Google Maps adds street view functionality

googlemaps_streetview.jpg

Google Maps has just added a pretty sweet new feature that allows you to actually see the streets that you’re getting directions on, and not just satellite images from above. No, now on select city streets you can have a real, street-level, 3-D view of the surroundings.

It’s pretty awesome, although as of right now it only works on some streets in San Francisco, New York, Denver, Las Vegas, and Miami. One can igmagine this really being useful once it’s spread out to include more areas. Directions that actually show photos of where you’re supposed to turn? Amazing. Let’s get this completed and implemented in GPS systems, stat.

Google Maps, via Gizmodo

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Get your special-effects career going with the NextEngine 3D scanner

NextEngine.jpg

Any aspiring animators out there may want to add the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner to their Christmas lists. The cereal box-size gadget will quickly scan an object (most scans take about 2 minutes) and render it onscreen for you to stretch, rotate, or break apart in any number of applications, many of which are provided. Since there’s no “scanning box” for your object, size matters not; really big targets may take a couple of scans, though. The NextEngine will capture all your object’s pretty colors and is said to be accurate to 0.005 inch, so anything bigger than a nanofiber can’t hide from this baby.

You also get an object gripper for hanging onto your thingie and a rotating “positioner” (above right) for scanning its backside. Since the NextEngine is a regular USB 2.0 peripheral, setup is super-simple, though you’ll need a minimum 2-GHz Windows PC (sorry, Mac users). Yeah, at $2,495, it’s definitely a bit pricey, so you may want to weigh getting one vs. an internship at Activision. Shout-out to Bill for the tip!

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