Stereoscopic glasses coming this year from Nvidia

In our podcast last Saturday, we talked a little bit about Nvidia's plans in the field of stereoscopic 3D. Nvidia demoed its technology at the Nvision 08 show in August, and Scott found that it worked better than past implementations.

If that piqued your interest, then you might find Maximum PC's latest interview interesting. The magazine has had a chat with GeForce Stereoscopic 3D Product Manager Andrew Fear, and it's learned some interesting details. For instance, Fear detailed how the technology works:

The NVIDIA GeForce Stereoscopic 3D driver works at the lowest level by taking 3D game data and rendering each scene twice – once for the left eye and once for the right eye. Each eye image is offset from each other for the correct viewing. The GPU then sends this data to a 3D Ready display. These displays show the left eye view for even frames (0, 2, 4, etc) and the right eye view for odd frames (1, 3, 5, etc). NVIDIA 3D glasses then synchronize back to the 3D Ready display and present slightly different images to each eye resulting in the illusion of depth and an incredibly immersive experience for games.

The technology hinges on displays with fast refresh rates (think 120Hz), though, so don't expect to get a stellar experience on your five-year-old Acer monitor. Aside from the fast display, Fear says you'll need a GeForce 8800 GT or better, a 32-bit copy of Windows Vista (64-bit support is "coming soon"), a pair of Nvidia's own stereoscopic 3D glasses, and a compatible game. Nvidia claims to have implemented support for a library of over 350 existing DirectX 8, 9, and 10 titles, although OpenGL games like Quake 4 and Prey aren't supported yet.

Speaking of the 3D glasses themselves, Fear says they're coming out "by the end of this year." They'll work wirelessly with a USB infrared transmitter, and their built-in batteries should last about 40 hours per charge. From Fear's description, it sounds like the glasses will have shutters to shield each eye from even or odd frames.

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