This is Sony’s space reality display, and you can pick one up for $ 5,000 in November.

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Two days ago I received a giant heavy metal wedge from Sony. The larger side contained a camera and a 15.6-inch 4K display.

I plugged it into a powerful gaming computer and ran the first demo. A finely detailed little Volkswagen Atlas materialized in front of my face – and when I pressed a button, it floated upward outside of the screen. Minutes later I watched a 4 inch tall anime girl dance her heart out inside The Sony machine, patting its feet on a floor of hexagonal mirrors. This is the magic of stereoscopic 3D.

The Corner is Sony’s new space reality display, and it’s not remotely a new idea – it’s just the industry’s latest attempt to create a so-called “holographic screen” for creators. content world who would like to see their digital objects and designs appear in their physical space. It’s also not the cheapest at $ 5,000 – a 15.6-inch 4K mirror costs $ 3,000 and allows multiple people to view these images simultaneously.

But Sony says the combination of an ultra-fast face and eye tracking camera, real-time algorithms, and super-thin, precisely-adjusted lenticular lenses deliver a clearer picture than any previous display. . And while I don’t have a competitor to try side-by-side, and I can’t show you examples on your 2D computer screen, Sony’s demos were for the most part pretty impressive.

A close-up video I took while moving my phone around, just to show how lenticular lenses provide different perspectives for each eye.
GIF: Sean Hollister / The Verge

I have to admit that the illusion is easy to break. You are looking in a virtual diorama of about 13 “by 6” by 5 “in my estimation, and any virtual objects deeper or higher than that will just be cut off by the edges of the screen. If you lean too close or too far to one side, the Sony camera cannot follow you and the 3D effect may shake and disappear. The image also flickered when my wife tried to preview it beside me. Maybe the camera can’t track multiple people.

But those limitations didn’t stop me from counting every cobblestone in a beautiful bistro scene, scanning the restaurant with its tiny wooden chairs and tables – each with their own curved metal armrests and individual slats – admiring details like the hanging baskets of plants the lampposts and strings of colorful lights spanning the street, and almost leaning enough to see through the arch on the right.

The flat images don’t do it justice. Imagine if it was a diorama in front of you.
Photo: Sean Hollister / The Verge.

Later, I got to admire a Ghostbusters Ecto-1 in all its glory, complete with a full interior, dual-mount steering wheel, heaps of handles, and shiny chrome accents reflecting a real-time light source and 31 fully-lit lights. functional, including its rotating blinkers and rocket tail lights. This demo (and screen) are also compatible with Leap Motion gesture control for 3D, although I found it a bit tricky.

Personally, I already think you can get a much better idea of ​​virtual objects with a good VR headset than a display like this, but Sony says their target audience wanted a stationary monitor that could live on their desk.

Most of the demos were built in Unity, although Sony says it has an SDK for Unity and Unreal, and suggests that it should be easy to port VR content from either platform. -forms. The company claims that the 4K 500 nits display supports 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, and while Sony recommends at least an Intel Core i7-9700K and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super or better to drive the display, it comes with its own built-in 2.1 speaker system which gets quite loud (and has dedicated volume buttons on the top edge).

Sony says it has already seeded the new screen with engineers from companies like Volkswagen, filmmakers like its ghost hunters Ghost Corps studio, and “one of the largest architectural firms in the world”. But the company doesn’t want to limit potential adoption to partners – it will open direct sales to anyone who might want one on its own website in November.

You can use it as a flat monitor in a pinch, but the lenticular lenses make it look pretty low-res that way.
Photo: Sean Hollister / The Verge

You can also sign up for a virtual demo on October 22 at 3 p.m. ET, although I can’t imagine this will really help you make up your mind on a screen you have to see in 3D.

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