Laptop, tablet, phone, and TV makers have tried many times over the years to make glasses-free 3D a thing, largely without gaining much traction. But with the rising popularity of 3D content for VR and AR applications, Asus is ready to give it another try with its Spatial Vision technology.
This week the company is introducing two new laptops that use a combination of eye-tracking cameras and special OLED displays to let digital artists switch between 2D and stereoscopic 3D views without the need to put on or take off a headset or pair of glasses.
Both laptops have 16 inch, 3200 x 2000 pixel, 120 Hz OLED displays with a 0.2ms response time and support for up to an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 mobile graphics.
What’s unusual is that the display can be toggled between 2D and 3D modes with the click of a button. In 2D mode you get a high-resolution, high-refresh rate OLED display. In 3D mode, a layer of microscopic lenticular lenses come into play, showing slightly different images to your left and right eyes.
That can be a tricky thing to get right if you’re just relying on the display, but that’s where the eye-tracking camera above the screen comes into play. It can detect your eye position in real-time and adjust the on-screen imagery as you move, not only keeping the 3D effect in focus, but also allowing you to view a 3D object from different angles by moving your head.
Clearly this is the sort of system that will only work for one user at a time, so don’t expect to watch 3D movies with friends on these laptops. But that’s not really what they’re for – Asus is positioning these as high-end mobile workstations for digital artists who may want to work on 3D graphics on a 2D display and then preview their content in 3D without the need to don a special pair of glasses.
Asus says Spatial Vision is compatible with “most creator software and file formats.” You could also theoretically use it for solo gaming or video sessions though.