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The coolest thing you didn't see at CES 2020

A stunning 8k, 3D display. And no glasses, thankfully, unlike the failed 3D TVs. Why didn't you see it? It wasn't on the show floor. But I did, high up in the Venetian, and I'm wondering why Apple doesn't buy these guys. Here's some, sorry, not 8K video of the display.

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Topic: CES
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1 of 7 Looking Glass

It's an 8K 3D display

When they say 8K, they aren't kidding. The level of detail is amazing. It's like looking out a window at the real world. One caveat: The 3D image is behind the glass, not in front of it. But it is truly 3D.

Looking Glass tells me that there is no technical reason the display will not scale to 70 inches are more.

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2 of 7 Looking Glass

It really is large format

OK, we've all been spoiled by our 75 inch TVs, but 32-inch displays are a large format, especially at 8K.

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3 of 7 Robin Harris/ZDNet

What can I watch?

There isn't much in the way of commercial 3D content. So Looking Glass is aiming at markets where customers can easily see the benefit of high-res 3D, and can afford it. 

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4 of 7 Looking Glass

Medical imaging

Today's arthroscopic surgery, using tiny fiber-optic cameras, presents on flatscreen displays. But wouldn't you prefer your surgeon to be able to look around that brain tumor instead of just at it?

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5 of 7 Robin Harris/ZDNet

Magnifying lens

In this still from a 4K video I shot, you see a magnifying glass actually magnifying the map behind it. In the video, which I'll link to later, you can see the content under the lens change with the camera position.

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6 of 7 Robin Harris

Virtual flashlight

Looking Glass showed me an excellent hack: A virtual flashlight. A physical flashlight was hooked up to 3D VR sensors, and when turned on, the screen image was illuminated in real-time, even though the "flashlight" emitted no light. 

In this screencap from my phone, an animated astronaut is seen mid-stride, illuminated by the flashlight in my hand. The gaming potential is obvious.

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7 of 7 Looking Glass

When can I buy one?

Looking Glass has been shipping smaller 3D displays for some time. This is a screencap of a smaller model available today. Looking Glass makes drivers and other software that runs on standard graphics cards. The magic is in the display and their software.

The 32-inch display will be shipping in limited quantities in the first half of 2020. Pricing hasn't been set, but expect it to be less than Apple's new XDR display. 

To see a high-quality video of the 32-inch display, check this out.

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