zSpace interactive 3D Table Review

zSpace is an interactive 3D table that has a holographic feel to the user. I was lucky enough to have David Baird join me  from Creative Consultants to show off their zSpace table over my lunch break while working at the dome. Once the table was set up and I had the glasses on, I was like again kid again playing with the technology. I did not want to share the new toy and that I wanted to just keep playing with it. I consider myself a beginner/moderate when it comes to familiarity with holographic types of technology. When teaching Future Trends in New Media for the past couple or years, I have become amazed with the progress made in holographic technology. Most of the uses have been for such things as bringing Elvis back in concert, commercial installations in airports, and for corporate communication. I have investigated augmented reality and one of my students did a paper and presentation on the technology. I also have experience in producing 3D images in Maya. When it comes to stereographic, I have played with some editing gear and spoke with some camera guys at the IMERSA conference about it and know people working to push the technology forward.

image from zSpace.com

Here I was with David Baird, a software architect; Charles Veasey, lead interactive designer at Ideum; and Jason Baerg, an internationally known media artist, each taking a turn with zSpace and then asking to look at it again and again. It reminds me of when I was a kid. My brother and I would go down the street to my aunts house and fight with my cousins over who got  to play Atari next. So maybe as adults we fought more fairly over the use of zSpace, but point being that we all really enjoyed this table. The video they have on their website shows a guy using a pen to pick up an object from the table to around 2 feet above to have a closer look. This is actually what it is like minus it’s opacity. We were able to move objects above the table and see them more as a holographic image rather than what I would categorize as a 3D image. This board would make for a great intuitive story boarding You can see in the video that the display does have its limitations the most obvious is that only one person at a time can use the device. Other than that, this thing rocks!

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