Getting all up in your Z space

This past week I experienced zCon, the conference for Infinite Z's zSpace device. zSpace is an immersive, interactive hardware and software platform for developers and users allowing interaction in a true 3D holographic-like environment. zSpace works with most standard and off-the-shelf computers so that anyone can transform a PC into a virtual-holographic computing system.

Users working in zSpace wear lightweight passive polarized eyewear and use the zSpace stylus — which feels like a normal ballpoint pen. When examining an object in zSpace, users get a realistic sense of its depth and volume. One can rotate the object or move their head around the object to see it from multiple angles.

It is a cool sensation when pulling something 'out of the screen', but I noticed most people at the conference had to be informed that this was possible.

zSpace even includes a virtual camera that users can move to visualize objects from different perspectives or even place inside objects to review and examine the inside and internal content of objects. It currently only works with one user at a time, but its applications can be multiuser.

Held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, zCon2013 was the first ever developer conference for this device. zCon is an educational environment that stimulates communication and collaboration among developers of 3D applications, hardware and content who are interested in immersive, lifelike and interactive technologies. There were over 45 sessions in technical/user experience, research/academia, and business oriented tracks and over 50 industry leaders including application developers from companies like zSpace, Autodesk, Solidworks, and Siemens.

Unfortunately I could only attend for the first day, but what a day it was. I saw a few old friends and made some new ones. The first day keynotes were among the best I have witnessed ever. The morning keynote from Academy Award-Winning Producer Jon Landau (Titanic, Avatar) was entertaining and the afternoon one by Mark Kassen (Filmmaker, Playwright and Actor) included a super engaging short movie that he provided live narration for. The presentations were informative and I learned of a variety of exciting applications that are using the zSpace device. Our company CTO even won a device at the event!

zCon2013 was a nice event and I look forward to seeing how it and the zSpace community grow.


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