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TDVision Systems Inc. CEO Interviewed!

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It is with great pleasure that we announce that TDVision Systems Inc., makers of leading Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) and stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) video camera solutions, has agreed to help sponsor this MTBS BLOG section. I had the privilege of interviewing their CEO, Mr. Manuel Gutierrez Novelo. He spoke of their exciting product line-up, and the different software initiatives his company is involved with.

1. Manuel, before we talk about your company, when did you get interested in stereoscopic 3D and why?

Well, we all know the ViewMaster, and I was a little kid, about 9, when I got one of them as a present. It came with a dolphin theme disk and I was impressed about the way the images looked. At that same time, there was a TV series called Flipper, and I compared the image to that on the ViewMaster. The difference was incredible! So I asked my parents: Why is it that Flipper doesn’t look as real as the ViewMaster? And that’s how my first interest in 3D started.

I have always been involved with software and hardware, since I was 13 (apple IIe) and I always got a technology profile (geek). 3D was always part of some of my questions, about compatibility, quality, bandwidth, and all I knew back then was based on filters, polarizers, shutter screens, but nothing was truly 3D compatible, nothing was portable enough, nothing was realistic.

Then I went to University and got my Electrical Engineering degree, and founded a few companies. Over years, I talked to my wife about how 3D wasn’t there yet, and after what I had learned, I was convinced that I was able to do it the right way, with a completely new approach – radically different from all the other existing 3D technologies. After a few searches with patent attorneys, we decided to start TDVision.

2. Fill me in on TDVision Systems Inc. When and how did it get started, and describe your company as it stands today.

We started in 2001 in Mexico and opened our offices in USA in 2004. So far, we are all friends, family, and angel investors from the USA, Europe, and Mexico. We have grown exponentially, and we have achieved incredible results over the last two years. We have an unparalleled team, and our digital technology has proven to be the only true 3D HD portable multipurpose and backwards compatible technology in the world.

3. We are seeing S-3D solutions in the form of HDTV, desktop monitors, LCD shutter glasses, projectors, and more. In your opinion, what are the key advantages of Head Mounted Display solutions?

We can mention 3 main advantages of our HMD:

a) True 3D: When we see images in our real world, we don’t use filters, lenticular films, field sequential or shutter glasses. The way we see is by two continuous, uninterrupted, flicker free unpolarized video streams at a very high resolution. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our TDVisor, and we believe it’s the most natural way to provide stereo images to the eyes. We have also statistically proven that our specific optics array and implementation does not cause any side effects.

b) Portability: Your cellphone, your iPod, your laptop – they all obey a portable need, and so does our TDVisor. If you mix it with the “be anywhere, do anything” concept, then you can play, work, entertain, and interact in in a truly immersed 3D environment, creating an Alternative Universe. We call it the “AlterSpace”.

c) Low cost: Compared to an equivalent screen of the same size (72in @ 10ft for SVGA and 108in @ 10 ft for HD).

4. What criteria separates one HMD apart from another?

Resolution, equivalent screen size (field of view), contrast, weight, ergonomics and style.

5. In your opinion, what challenges have most HMD solutions faced up until today?

To remove the bulky stigma, and increase the resolution.

6. Tell us about your TDVisor solutions. What technical challenges have you faced and overcome?

With every iteration of our TDVisor, we strive to enhance each one of the key characteristics and get a perfect balance for the user.

Our two models, TDVisor SVGA and TDVisor HD, are at the high end resolution wise, wide field of view, low weight (6oz), and we recognize that we need to work on the ergonomics and style. All this has become part of our evolution, and part of our technological roadmap and priorities.

7. You have more than one HMD option. What are their specs? In particular, can you elaborate on resolution, field of view, weight, and refresh rate if applicable?

TDVisor SVGA 800×600. 72″ @ 10ft, 6oz
TDVisor HD (1280×768 16:9 and 1024×768 4:3). 108″ @ 10ft, 9oz

8. What hardware is best suited for your TDVisor HMD solutions?

PCs with Intel CoreDuo and an nVidia video card.

9. How much do the TDVisors cost?

TDVisor SVGA: $1,000
TDVisor HD: $ 1,500

10. You know we are big video game players here at MTBS. Can you name some titles that work really well with your solution?

To enable 3D we have two options:

a) Modify the game by integrating our TDVirutalCam SDK
b) Using existing nVidia OpenGL and DirectX stereo capabilities and/or using the nVidia stereo support

Several games have been tested right out of the box and they work well with the existing stereo compatibility like:

Rainbow Six Vegas
Snoopy VS Red Baron
Meet the Robinsons
World of Warcraft
Warcraft 3
Quake 4
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Demo
Eve Online
Just Cause
Titan Quest

We encourage you to test the immersive effect, it is really impressive.

11. You do more than HMDs! Tell me about your TDVCam, what is it exactly?

Our technology platform supports video streams as well as computer generated content either in real time or pre-rendered. In order to acquire video and still pictures in true 3D, we developed our TDVCam, an HD MPEG compatible camera that allows you to capture our real world, encode it and see it in our applications, either AlterSpace or DejaView.

12. What resolution and format does it record in?

For video it’s HD 720p and SD 480, and for still images it’s 10MP and 5MP.

13. Do you need a TDVisor to see the content, or will it work with other S-3D solutions too?

You can see the content with any independent LR (left, right) based stereo display.

14. When would this camera be most appropriate to use? Who do you see buying it?

Consumer Electronics, home, personal, advertising, product shots, video conferences, practically the same usage as existing camcorders, but in true 3D High Definition.

Something very interesting happens when you acquire your own videos in 3D with our TDVCam. When you see them a month later, you feel like you’re there again, like a Dejavu, and that’s why we called our video player DejaView.

15. What media does it store recordings on, and how much can it record without running out of memory?

4GB and 8GB SD Cards. Depending on the resolution profile it can go from 30 minutes up to 2 hours of true 3D video.

16. How do you edit content once it is recorded? Is a means to do this already in existence?

You treat this as any other video for non-linear editing purposes. Right now you just need to take some specific considerations since our TDVCodec is in constant evolution. We’re planning to have plug-ins for every Non Linear Editing (NLE) software package.

17. How much does it cost?

Right now the camera is $10,000 US.

18. What is the difference between 3D emulation and 3D simulation, and how does it tie in with TDVision Inc.?

3D Emulation duplicates the functions of our vision system in a very accurate manner whereas 3D simulation just imitates some key characteristics.

We are a 3D emulation technology because our platform imitates the way our eyes and brain work in a very natural way: Dynamic convergence, dynamic focusing, real and proportional perspective projection, true 3D continuous video streams, and High Definition among other things.

Other 3D simulation technologies just focus on providing different images (LR) to each eye but they use optical methods that are not natural to the human eye like field sequential, shutter glasses, filters, lenticular screens, and polarizers.

19. You have a software side too. What is “Alterspace”, and what does it do?

It’s like a game engine enhanced with TDVision features. You can use it to interactively visualize 3D environments, for entertainment watching 3D videos and work in your applications.

The AlterSpace as a concept is like a convergence point, an enabler, like the door to an alternate space. Through software, it allows you to load 3D cg environments created on 3DSMax with our TDVPlugin. You can load applications, work, play, and interact immersed in a true S-3D environment. You can explore in a game-like environment, and every single item looks just like in real life.

The TDVirtualCam is used to provide you with the dynamic convergence angle emulating the way you see in real life so it’s very comfortable and natural to the eye. Inside the AlterSpace, you can also watch true 3D videos in our floating plasmas. First you visualize your content in a guide with previews, and once you’ve selected the video, you can go full screen to see it in HD.

We are constantly adding new features to our AlterSpace, and soon you will be able to do everything like 3D Videoconferencing, chat, IPTV, and launch applications and games. You’ll feel like you’ve been somewhere else, but you haven’t moved from your desk…you were at the AlterSpace.

20. Is this software only available for TDVision solutions, or will it work with other S-3D hardware too?

It will also work with any independent LR display.

21. I understand you are working with Sun Microsystems too! Tell me about “Project Looking Glass”, what is it and how are you involved?

The Looking Glass initiative is a complete 3D User Interface, and it makes a lot of sense when you present it in true S-3D. Browse your database, files, take a tour in your corporate headquarters or campus, just as if you were really there.

22. What platforms does it work on? Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS?

Windows, and we’ll support them all in the near future.

23. You have the TDVisor, the TDVcam, and more than one software solution at work here. How does it all work together? What’s your vision on this?

As you can see, we have successfully implemented the complete ecosystem from acquisition, computer generation, encoding, decoding, and visualization for true S-3D digital HD visualization. We envision our technology applied to entertainment, sports, video games, online gaming, 3D environments, and GUI and CAD applications.

24. There is a lot happening in our industry right now. What events excite you the most and why?

A few years ago when TDVision started development, there was virtually no support for stereo from game companies and hardware manufacturers. Now in 2007, we have organizations like “Meant to be Seen” that are actively promoting the mass adoption of 3D gaming technology. This sort of grassroots organization can let the gamers voice be heard and it is clearly working!

The idea that people from all over the world that want 3D now can demand hardware support as well as best practice 3D coding standards is exciting and trend setting.

25. You have clearly demonstrated technical advances for the HMD and S-3D industry with your products. Now comes the hardest question in this interview. If a genie appeared and offered you three wishes, with the exception of selling millions and millions of TDVisors and TDVcams, what three things would you ask for to help move the S-3D industry ahead?

a. If we can leverage our unique advances in the field of stereoscopic 3D to help raise awareness of stereo as a whole, that would be great! For the past 60 years, people have been watching TV, gaming, and visualizing in 2D. That is not the way that we as humans really see. No matter how large the television, no matter how high the definition, it will never be true to life without depth. When the average person realizes this and compare the difference, they will demand 3D.

b. Support of major hardware and software manufacturers. If large companies have the forward vision to commit resources to making S-3D standards and applications a reality, then it will make it less of an uphill battle. Content drives development, and development drives content. If we could all work together with no reservations and trust in the power of S-3D, then it’s the user and the companies that support S-3D that will benefit.

c. All I want is to change the world by promoting the mass adoption of our S-3D technology. If we can satisfy the first two wishes then I will give the third to the Genie. He may want to use it to free himself and enjoy our high definition TDVisor with an MTBS certified game!

Special thanks to TDVision Systems Inc. for helping support our industry, and joining forces with iZ3D to help fund MTBS with an unrestricted education grant.

TDVision Systems Inc. staff have made themselves available to answer your questions. Post comments and ask questions HERE.

MTBS Interviews the President & CEO of In-Three Inc., the Current Leader in 2D to 3D Movie Conversion!

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3D Biz-Ex is coming up next week, and one of their highly anticipated speakers is Mr. David Seigle, President and CEO of In-Three Inc.

In-Three has earned endorsements from the likes of George Lucas, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson as being a leader in the area of 2D to 3D conversion for pre-existing movies. MTBS had the privilege of interviewing him, and I think you will be excited by what his company’s work means for the stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) industry!

1. Tell me about In-Three. How long have you been around and what do you guys do?

In-Three was formed in 1999 to develop, patent and implement in software (“IN3D”, the In-Three Depth-builder) the means to Dimensionalize 2D content, that is, to convert 2D films to 3D films.

2. Can you name some movies that are converted or are being converted using your In-Three process?

I wish I could answer that for you. Non-disclosure agreements cover almost everything we have, and we can show some of it in person at our offices with a signed NDA. We are dimensionalizing public domain material so we will not be constrained in the future.

3. Does your company do the conversion for the studios, or do the studios get your software and do the work internally?

Our mission is to perform three kinds of work: Dimensionalization of films in libraries, Dimensionalization of films in development in parallel with their 2D counterparts for day-and-date release, and work in tandem with material being filmed stereoscopically to eliminate discomforting disparities. We do this ourselves. Our software may be commercialized if there is sufficient demand.

4. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the process. In video games, content is pre-rendered in volumetric 3D, so S-3D conversion is almost effortless when done properly. In pre-existing movies, you are dealing with a completely flat image from the start. How does your system pull depth, or create a dynamic Z axis, out of a completely flat image? In particular, how does your software know that a doorknob is closer than the door, or a nose is closer than the face?

Remember that 2D content has all of the normal depth cues of the real world with the exception of accommodation, convergence and binocular discrepancy. Accommodation is the adaptation of the eye’s shape to distance. Convergence is the eyes’ tracking (crossing) to see an object. Binocular discrepancy is the two different views the eyes have which give objects shape. In a theater, the eyes accommodate to and converge at the screen. In addition, they each see the identical image – there are no binocular discrepancies.

What we do is recreate the convergence and the binocular disparities of the original scene. We do this by treating a frame as a left or right eye image, and copying it to create the alternate eye image. Then we identify each object to be given explicit depth, provide depth, shape, and perspective. Then we fill in previously occluded areas in the newly created image. For more on how we do this, see our web site.

5. When we think of converting a movie from 2D to 3D, it sounds like a simple one step process – but it isn’t. Can you describe how a movie director interacts with your software to get to a final product?

What we prefer is that the director specify what we call a “style” of dimensionalization and provide depth scripts which reflect that style. This can vary from shot to shot. Such a depth script takes into consideration, for example, the dramatic impact the director wants to imbue using z-depth and the z-depth transitions from shot to shot. We then create key frames to show the effect of these choices. Once approval is given we dimensionalize the shot and the director provides the final okay.

6. As you are starting off with a 2D image, how much flexibility can a movie director or converter really expect out of the new 3D image? Can you give an example of how this flexibility would work?

We can provide a control of depth, we call it “depth-grading” – ala, color-grading that allows a director to get close to recreating the real-life scene or a modification of it that satisfies his artistic vision. The only restriction on this is that the “explicit depth” we give individual objects can not conflict with implicit or natural depth cues. Also there are certain physiological limits that must be observed: if the screen is too close for the point of convergence then there may be a conflict between accommodation and convergence and the eyes will become strained or may not be able to fuse the image. We have material at In-Three that we can project on a big screen and on a small screen (3D HDTV) to show these effects.

7. When I think of professional 3D rendering, I think of CPU farms and dedicated rooms of workstations all focused on a single minute of footage. If you could measure it, how would you compare this example to the processing power required for the 2D to 3D conversion process? Are your requirements as extensive?

No. I’ve not analyzed the specific algorithms that CG uses to produce single and second camera views but I am aware they are cpu intensive. Our software uses similar hardware but our computer intensive tasks relate to the propagation of values through the frames of a scene. This is usually measured in seconds, and we have clear development goals to reduce this latency impact on productivity. The other computer intensive task is when we generate a deliverable using our depth and other values to generate frames for specific screen size and resolution.

8. It seems like your company is in the dead center of movie time. The past is filled with a huge library of 2D content ready to be converted, and the future is showing a rush of new movies that are getting rendered in S-3D from the get-go. I understand the benefits of converting older 2D content. How does In-Three fit with newly produced content in the works or coming to market?

This is being worked out as we discuss all this with studios and others. Stay tuned.

9. What’s cheaper, producing a 2D movie and converting it to 3D, or producing an S-3D movie, and using your software to tweak it? Will one option give a better result than the other?

I suspect that the marginal cost of some shots like limited depth and complex objects, will be cheaper using stereo cinematography and that many others will be cheaper using Dimensionalization. Another point to note, though, is that there are some shots that are impractical or impossible using stereography cinematography. There are no shots that can’t be Dimensionalized.

10. Do you think perfect 3D is possible in a movie theater? Why or why not?

I say our goal is to help a director “approach perfect 3D”. I define this as allowing the director to meet his artistic vision and to ensure that no discomforting discrepancies exist anywhere in a shot. I use the word “approach” because the eyes are always accommodating (i.e., shaped to focus on) the screen even if they are converged in front or behind and viewing perfect binocular reconstruction. In-Three allows a director to approach perfect 3D.

11. Movie theaters come in all sizes. Does one size fit all when it comes to S-3D movie conversion, or do movie houses need to recalibrate for different theater sizes?

Movies need to be tuned to different screen sizes. A film shot or computer generated or dimensionalized to show an object at infinity on a forty foot screen will, when displayed on a five foot screen, display that same object at 114% of the distance from the viewer. Shown on a sixty foot screen that object would appear beyond infinity and cause the viewers’ eyes to diverge.

In the first case the director’s intended artistic vision is mitigated. In the second case discomforting artifacts are introduced. In neither case do we approach perfect 3D.

We keep the meta-data that allows us to regenerate content to its intended screen size.

12. This isn’t the first run that Hollywood is taking at getting S-3D in movie theaters. What is different today? What was the drawback of S-3D’s past that isn’t there today?

A key change is that there are single projectors. In the past, no matter how good the content was, the projectors got out of alignment, developed uneven light output, had splices break left/right synchronization, etc. That very large cause of discomfort no longer exists.

13. As I’m sure MTBS has demonstrated to you by now, there is a quickly growing at-home consumer market for S-3D content through 3D monitors, HDTVs, HMDs, and more. There is now a leap-to market for 3D movie content that wasn’t there before. After In-Three works with a movie studio for a theatrical release, does the whole film need to be recalibrated for at-home viewing?

Probably for reasons discussed above. But in some cases maybe not – it’s a matter of opinion. I’ve stood in a group watching a clip on a five foot screen and the reactions ranged from “it’s not bad” to “the background looks like it’s painted on the wall behind the TV”.

14. This is my favorite question to ask all my interviewees. If a 3D genie appeared, and with the exception of getting every Hollywood director to knock on your door to use the In-Three process, what three wishes would you like that would move the S-3D industry even further ahead?

I have a hard time “conjuring” up an answer to the genie question. I prefer to deal with the situation as it is, just as studio people and others have to deal with the world as it is. This means that they have to focus on generating revenue next year and beyond during a period where 3D theater screen numbers are just beginning to be meaningful. We both are looking past this transition period as they work with In-Three to fill the current content gap.

15. If there was one message our readers could walk away with after this interview, what would it be?

3-D is here to stay.

David Seigle will be speaking at 3D Biz-Ex next week, and all MTBS members qualify for a 20% discount on registration. Learn more in the MTBS Discounts section found under Member Benefits.

Post your comments HERE!

MTBS Interview with iZ3D

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Hello everyone!

As promised, below is an interview I did with iZ3D about their new 22″ iZ3D monitor! While not named directly for each question, it was a collaborative effort between Thomas Striegler, iZ3D’s CEO, David Chechelashvili, their VP of Marketing, and Vadim Asadov, their Chief Technology Officer.

1. Before we talk about your new monitor, tell me about iZ3D. How long have you guys been around, and what are your roots? Were you always called iZ3D?

Since 2001, Neurok Optics, LLC developed various 3D visualization technologies and introduced a 17″ iZ3D monitor in 2006. To develop and manufacture a larger 22″ W iZ3D monitor, that is more attractive for gamers, Neurok Optics, LLC discussed with Chi Mei Optoelectronics forming a JV. In January 2007, iZ3D LLC was formed as a Joint Venture Company, that is 50/50 owned by Taiwan based Chi Mei Optoelectronics, and San Diego based Neurok Optics, LLC.

2. What was it about stereoscopic 3D that got your company excited?

We always thought that the visualization should not be flat, but be as close to the real world as possible. Coupled with the fact that there has been no major change in display and TV industries since color replaced black and white, we decided to change the world.

3. Tell us about Chi-Mei. Who are they and how are you related to them?

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), headquartered at Tainan Science-based Industrial Park, Taiwan, is one of the world’s leading TFT-LCD companies. Its key products include large-size TFT-LCD panels for notebooks, desktop monitors, and TV applications. The company has 25,000 employees and is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE). In 2006, it shipped 33.2- million TFT LCDs and had revenue of $5.8 billion (US). For the iZ3D LLC JV company, CMO designed the 22″W product and manufactures the iZ3D monitors.

4. “The first 3D monitor designed for gamers”. Why are gamers so important to you?

We are gamers, and that’s why gamers are so important for us. “We” are very important for ourselves, but seriously, we love playing video games and we love 3D. Frustrated with the lack of appropriate 3D systems, we founded our company with the mission to give gamers a 3D solution that they can enjoy for hours, without headaches and nausea after minutes of using it.

5. Now we can talk about the monitor. What does it do exactly?

iZ3D monitors consist of two superimposed liquid crystal (LC) panels. Similar to 3D movies, iZ3D technology is based on polarized light to create images for left and right eye viewing. But unlike film and filters with fixed polarizer angles for projectors, iZ3D controls left and right eye image creation by dynamically changing the polarity of each picture element (pixel). Left eye and right eye images are addressed and controlled simultaneously. With the software based iZ3D image control algorithm, the back TFT LCD is controlling the intensity of the transmitted light and the front TFT LCD controls the polarization angle of the transmitted light.

6. S-3D has been around for some time with a wide range of solutions on the market. What makes your monitor’s hardware special? What are its specs?

Since our mission was to develop a solution for gamers, we focused on eliminating problems that were preventing wide spread use of S-3D monitors. iZ3D features wide 3D viewing angles, allows for continuous hours of comfortable use, is easily switchable between 2D and 3D modes, it is compatible with all major games, and features lightweight and stylish polarized glasses. You can find iZ3D specs HERE.

7. Your first product was an iZ3D 17″ monitor. Other than size and resolution, have you made any qualitative changes when you upgraded to a 22″ version? What were they?

With Chi Mei as manufacturing partner, we can afford to use the highest quality optical and electrical parts. We are also able to modify our panels at a factory level to contribute to the high quality of the final product. We did not have that luxury with 17″ model. And of course we made major changes in the software, offering iZ3D drivers, instead of Nvidia stereo drivers that we relied upon for 17″ model.

8. You are asking $999 for the monitor. How did you arrive at this pricing, and how do you see gamers justifying the expense?

The pricing is the result of the thinnest margin that will allow us to exist. We are more interested in growing the market rather than reaping profits in the short term. We are long-term players, and our goal is to make 3D monitors/TVs a must have for every household. Especially for gamers, who love to have the best, the newest, and the coolest. Considering the price and performance ratio of competitive products, the 22″W iZ3D monitor is a bargain.

9. The iZ3D monitor is referred to as a “hardware and software” solution. Tell us about the software.

The function of the software is to display correct images on front and back panels. Left and Right image information is streamed through the Graphics card and is converted by the iZ3D algorithm into Back and Front information. The Back and Front information is transmitted to Back and Front panels of the iZ3D monitor. The Back panel information is then combined with the information on the Front, which is a mix of depth cues intended for the left eye, when polarized to 45 degrees, and for the right eye when polarized to 135 degrees. The superimposed images, which are different for the left eye and the right eye, same as observed in nature, are simultaneously sent to the brain, where the images are combined into one 3D image.

10. Your drivers support post processing effects, what does this mean?

Post processing effects, such as lighting, reflections, and shadows have a very complex rendering pipeline and it was challenging to implement double rendering capabilities in the iZ3D drivers. But we succeeded with iZ3D drivers based post processing for most major games.

11. Your drivers support AMD/ATI graphics cards as well as NVIDIA cards, why is this such a big deal in the industry?

There are several reasons. First it is always good to support the small but still significant percentage of gamers who own ATI cards. Second, having competition is always healthy, and while Nvidia for a long time enjoyed an exclusive position in the S-3D industry, this monopoly can come to an end soon. And finally maybe this will wake up ATI’s interest in S-3D gaming market. So far they have been invisible.

12. Do your drivers support Windows Vista?

iZ3D drivers support DirectX8 and DirectX9 games under the Vista operating system.

13. Does your monitor support DirectX 10 and OpenGL?

Both are in development, expected to be released around Q4 2007, Q1 2008

14. What is “windowed mode”? Why is this so special?

Direct3D allows two distinct display modes:

Exclusive mode: Due to the direct connection between Direct3D and the display driver, a Direct3D device is able to fully cover the screen. Any request to use the display device will fail while an application is in exclusive mode.

Windowed mode: The result is shown inside the area of a window. Direct3D needs to communicate with GDI to complete the representation.

Some of the games (MS FSX) and vertical applications (Google Earth, MS Virtual Map, etc) are working in windowed mode only. We received extensive feedback from our prospective customers, and a couple of months ago we made a strategic decision to support “windowed” mode in iZ3D drivers.

15. Your drivers were first revealed at Dimension-3 Expo in June. Since then, our members have been going nuts wondering if you will be releasing a version for other S-3D solutions. Will you?

The answer is maybe, but definitely not until Q1 of 2008. We need to find the right business model that will justify supporting competitive solutions.

16. In your advertisements, you say that your monitor is compatible with all popular video games. Can you elaborate? What can a customer do if their favorite game doesn’t work?

You can find a full list of games tested and supported by iZ3D HERE. If you cannot find your favorite game on the list, please let us know via our new technical support system. We evaluate such requests based on volume.

17. For now, your drivers do most of the work as far as getting a proper 3D image on the screen. What can game developers do to get the most out of monitors like yours and other solutions like it?

In order to maximize gamer experiences in S-3D it is very important that game developers render correct stereo. MTBS can play a leading role in educating and encouraging game developers to make gaming in 3D a most enjoyable experience.

18. According to 2006 figures, the video game industry is a twelve billion dollar industry. The fact is, games sell well as it is. Why is your monitor and solutions like it important for game developers? How does this help them?

There are endless opportunities as soon as game developers realize that 3D can be a tremendously competitive advantage in this tough industry. Games can be developed around S-3D features, i.e. making game play even more enjoyable. For example, developing a new game that evolves around 3D features could have a far reaching effect, in our opinion.

19. Other than the drivers, what other software features does your monitor offer?

You can download our newest creation – iZ3D Player. iZ3D Player is based on Movie Player Classic and is usable as 2D or 3D player. In 3D mode, the iZ3D Player supports side-by-side, above/under and line-by-line movie formats.

20. It took longer than expected to get your monitor out to market. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced, and some of the steps you took to make the product a success?

Optimism met realism and the desire to bring to market a reliable quality product won over the desire to introduce the product at record speed.

21. While your product is innovative, S-3D has been around for some time, and it has clearly had its pitfalls. What’s different today? In addition to your product, how do you envision the S-3D industry’s future? Is it going to have explosive mass appeal, or a niche market success? Why?

Hopefully we all learned from past mistakes. The difference today is that everyone seems to realize that correctly done and top quality content as well as easy to use, friendly S-3D systems are the key to bringing S-3D to masses. While Hollywood is leading the trend, hopefully game developers will follow suit and realize that correct 3D rendering is the key to wide acceptance of 3D gaming. I can see game developers participating more and more in organizations like MTBS.

The S-3D industry definitely has a potential of mass appeal, however the market is in its infancy stage, and the natural curve of adoption needs to happen before the products will become appealing to wide masses.

22. The industry as a whole now has viable S-3D products, Hollywood is making 3D movies, and speaking from MTBS’ point of view, gamers are really taking an interest in this technology. In your opinion, what’s the last piece of the puzzle?

We are uncertain that it will be the last piece of the puzzle, but 3D home entertainment content, besides electronic games, is certainly an important piece of the puzzle. Another equally important piece of the puzzle is setting standards in the industry that is in its embryonic stage. That’s why we expect that organizations like MTBS will play an increasingly important part educating, and helping to establish standards in S-3D.

23. Aside from selling millions of iZ3D units, if an industry genie could give you anything you wanted, what three wishes would you ask for?

1. Industry standards are set and accepted by major players, especially Microsoft (gives us less headaches).
2. High quality 3D content readily available sooner than planned.
3. Percentage of population not capable of seeing 3D suddenly starts seeing it.

24. What’s next from iZ3D?

As display prices decrease, the market progresses to larger display sizes, so will iZ3D products increase in size which places opportunities besides PC gaming in iZ3D LLC’s sight.

25. If readers could walk away with one message from this interview, what would it be?

Get inside the game! Believe us; this expression will take on a whole new meaning when seeing the new iZ3D monitor in the market.

It seems that the momentum of the 3D industry is building up, and we will soon see the exciting developments in the industry from both the content and hardware developers.

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