New 3D tech lets you view a scene from any angle
In Japan, a phone company’s R&D goes beyond finding new ways to lock you into oppressive contracts. The telecom giants play with all kinds of technologies, like this fly-through video system that KDDI introduced at the CEATEC show near Tokyo.
Called Free-Viewpoint Video, it uses thirty cameras to capture a scene from almost every angle. Software mashes the images together to generate a 3D computer model like those used in video games. So, just like you can walk around a virtual room Halo 3, you can zoom through a real-live scene in Free-Viewpoint. The demo video, which provided almost unlimited voyeur opportunities of cheerleaders, was well-calibrated for this mostly-male geekfest. And KDDI is considering providing various sorts of 3D eye candy for cellphones. But the technology’s designer said Free-Viewpoint could also be used for serious-business, like virtually-there video conferencing. —Sean Captain