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Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to talk 3D. As much as I’d like to deny it, the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. IMAX films, 3D Televisions and even converted video games are keeping us all more involved and immersed in our media. Of course the biggest problem is the price point. Movies with the third dimension command a 50% ticket price increase and televisions with the capability are some of the most expensive on the market. About a month ago, I was invited to preview a device that would allow video games to be 3D without the incredible expense. I was completely blown away.
The Man Behind the Curtain
The Man, the Myth, the Genius
The man behind the device is Eugene “Gene” Dolgoff, the Founder/CEO/CTO of 3-D Vision, Inc. This man is a genius. When I say that, I mean it sincerely: he majored in Physics, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, and minored in physiological-psychology. Oh, and he gave Gene Roddenberry the idea for the Holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, including how it would work. As a lifelong Trekkie, I found myself eager to meet the man behind the tech.
More amazing when seen in person, I promise
When we arrived at 3-D Vision’s warehouse in Westbury, NY, we were introduced to Eugene, who honestly couldn’t be a friendlier human being. He took us on a tour of the warehouse where he develops his products. We saw a wall display filled with holograms not unlike those cool book covers we remember as kids (90’s kids, anyway). Mr. Dolgoff’s company is responsible for making these for marketing, from products themselves to wall displays. Then we saw the true workbench of a technology tester. There were two televisions, one CRT and one HD, video game consoles including a Nintendo 64, Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 for which I brought some games to test, and wires connecting everything together.
That feels like a workstation!
Then there was the Instant 3D Converter itself. The device was massive, as big as the tube television, if not bigger, and sounded like a small jet engine when turned on. As the prototype, however, the size and sound was understandable. The finished product will be sized no bigger than a standard cable modem, easy to find a place for and much quieter. In all honesty, the sound faded into the background after a few minutes. The device, which will come will it’s own 3D glasses, takes the display and splits it into two images. Then, it layers the images on top of each other, blurring the picture to a normal eye. With the glasses on, a fully 3D picture is presented. We were skeptical to say the least, as the television hadn’t been modified and Mr. Dolgoff wanted to use the N64 on the tube TV as the first test. We loaded up Star Fox 64, starting without the Converter on.
Oh, and the seats were ridiculously comfy
Although the graphics are dated, the game is obviously still fantastic. A few moments later, with a few switches thrown, we were experiencing Star Fox 64 like we were there. New details on the ship seemed to just appear, going under bridges and near buildings brought new excitement, and dogfights were incredibly suspenseful. And this was on a seventeen-year-old console. Soon after, we switched it over to the ultimate test of the Converter’s greatness: Battlefield 3 on the Playstation 3. It is impossible to exaggerate how entirely engulfing this was. As often as I play FPS games, Battlefield 3’s realistic bullet travel time made sniping a lot harder for me. With this device on, I could literally see the distance, time the shot and make it almost everytime without any effort. The graphical capabilities of the most powerful console of the Seventh Generation of consoles was perfectly complimented by the device. After a tragic Red Ring of Death from the Xbox, we tested smartphone games and a televised rugby match. No surprise. All perfectly rendered, with no delay between changes and no need for the media to support 3D beforehand.
We also sampled a holographic television…freaking awesome
For the next few days after the sampling of the tech, it was hard to watch regular TV. I felt it was a pale imitation of what I had seen that day in Westbury. Unfortunately, updating to HD at the screen size I have is prohibitably expensive, and this Converter would save me a buttload, while giving the advantage of an amazing new view. Seriously, it felt like I was watching IMAX quality 3D on a television screen. I imagined playing the Mass Effect Trilogy and Fallout 3 with this device, reliving some of my favorite games in a wild new perspective. I’ve played those games multiple times, but going back would be an amazing experience.
The Instant 3D Converter has also just launched it’s Kickstarter page. At retail price, the MSRP for the unit is set at $300. With a $149 pledge, you’ll get one at half the cost you’d pay in stores. Having tested it already, I’ll probably be pledging the money on my next paycheck. Hopefully, if the Kickstarter is successful, video gamers will be able to pick one up holiday season 2013, just in time for the Eighth Generation’s best offerings of Xbox One and Playstation 4. Imagine the possibilities of that: I already am.
This Kickstarter project expires Tuesday, July 23, 2013 and has a lofty goal of $850,000. As of the time of this writing, the project has accumulated $15,088 in less than two days, with ninety-three backers and thirty-two days to go.
We’d like to thank Mr. Dolgoff for inviting us to sample his newest technology and his kindness while we were there. Also a special thanks to Doug Poniarski, one of our lovable readers and a good friend, for setting the demo up for us.