Mercedes-Benz S-Class will have 3D screens on the dashboard

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Illustration for an article titled 3D TVs are not dead, they just ended up in cars

Photo: Mercedes Benz (Other)

After dominating the living rooms for years as the next big thing in home entertainment, 3D TVs have seemingly gone completely, replaced by technologies like OLED which are a real improvement in the TV experience. Where all these fanciful screens went, it was a mystery, however … until today, when Mercedes Benz has revealed that 3D screens will be part of the Mercedes-Benz 2021 S-Class infotainment system

It’s part of a major overhaul Mercedes Benz User Experience or MBUX, which includes a long list of features that drivers and passengers will really benefit from in a modern vehicle. Features include biometric voice and fingerprint recognition so occupants can easily view preconfigured settings and profiles or make authorized online purchases; driver monitoring to ensure they never doze behind the wheel; low consumption OLED screens; content such as videos that can be easily shared between the screens available at each seat; and even the integration of smartphone so you can preheat the oven or turn the ca before putting in the aisle. As well …. a 3D screen for the driver?

Are these dials easier to read when they seem to jump on you?

Are these dials easier to read when they seem to jump on you?
Photo: Mercedes Benz (Other)

One of the many reasons why 3D TVs have failed is that technology has forced viewers to wear special glasses to actually see the simulated depth effect. The only 3D product without glasses that could be considered a success was the Nintendo 3DS. Instead of forcing drivers to wrestle with 3D glasses, Mercedes-Benz uses 3D screen technology similar to that of Nintendo. The driver’s dashboard is a “conventional LCD screen with a special pixel structure” associated with an LCD grid that ensures that each driver’s eye sees a different image of the LCD screen. As with the enhanced version of 3DS, a camera tracks the driver’s eye and head position and automatically adjusts the LCD panels so that the depth effect is not limited to a specific ideal point.

Most importantly, the 3D dashboard effect is optional and can be turned off when drivers don’t want to be distracted by a speedometer that appears to be jumping towards them – which, really, should be whenever they are behind the steering wheel and focused on the road.

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What is most confusing is that before digital screens began to appear in vehicles, traditional analog dashboard instrumentation did not have much depth. Maybe there was a slight shade under the RPM and MPH hands on a sunny day, but this can be easily reproduced on two-dimensional screen graphics via software. Why Mercedes-Benz thinks 3D displays are a necessary part of the future driving experience remains to be seen, but it probably has something to do with the price of the S-Class starting at just under $ 100,000. A luxury vehicle must have luxury features, as unnecessary as they may seem.

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