What we're about to show you is decidedly low-tech -- it's essentially a projection screen with a sharp curve at the bottom -- but the resulting effect conveys a more realistic 3D image, for certain applications, at least. The Communications Research Centre of Canada was on hand at NAB to demonstrate a small variety of lab projects, with agency representatives hoping to make an impression on attendees, who will theoretically apply these concepts to actual products, with no licensing fee making its way back to the True North. This particular project employs an off-the-shelf Optoma 3D projector, active glasses and a white screen positioned with a dramatic curve, that essentially works to provide a platform for 3D subjects to stand on.
Believe it or not, the config really does make a difference, enabling a more immersive experience that makes 3D objects appear more realistic, assuming they're positioned in such a way that they're standing on the near-horizontal portion of the screen. Research Technologist Ron Renaud says that such a configuration would be ideal for video conferencing -- it's still no match for an in-person meeting, but it's certainly an improvement over the traditional approach. The demonstration projector wasn't configured to compensate for the curve, which theoretically makes it subject to warping, though we didn't notice any issues at the show. Like all 3D displays, you'll really need to see it for yourself to get an accurate impression of the experience, but jump past the break for an overview with Renaud, and a closer look at the screen.
Curved 3D panel hands-on