GLYFE Nation: How long has the Spatial Labs technology been under development?
Angela Lee: Almost 2 years, last year in May we launched a prototype version of it which was for developers. We sent developers a beta version and then finally announced it as ConceptD 7 Spatial Labs Edition. We have put a lot of effort and research into how to make the eye tracker accurate, the algorithm, and everything else of course.
GLYFE Nation: How long after this period was it before the gaming aspect came into the light?
Angela Lee: So, to be honest since about October 2021 we had already begun the whole discussion about integrating it into gaming. We want to be able to basically tailor this experience for different user experiences. We started from the creator and 3D design side it was because they had the most refined quality of content and we also already had some of the integration done. At that point, we could finally show the true value and quality of the 3D models. We then could present the 3D to people which floated in front of the screen. Discussions were already taking place on exactly how we could make something like this for gaming because we realize that all the games are built in 3D. Every character, tree, signage, and even the stages are all built-in 3D. We just had to figure out how to present the models in the right way. So, we started researching shader and driver technologies. Shaders basically have the different layers of objects presented in the game. Shaders already have all the depth data in the game. We just needed to understand exactly how the rendering pipeline works and then present it in stereoscopic 3D on our devices. We also wanted to find a way to do this with the least effort from the developers, game publishers, and studios as possible because involving them would be a huge conversation. With the current technology that is being used the developers do not really need to do a thing.
GLYFE Nation: And we’re calling this the Spatial Labs True Game platform?
Angela Lee: Yes, Spatial Labs True Game.
GLYFE Nation: Here is where users can access all the titles available? Is it a subscription service or does it just come free with the technology?
Angela Lee: Yes, it comes free with the technology at this moment.
GLYFE Nation: For people who don’t know the difference between stereoscopic 3D and other types of 3D can you highlight some key differences that set them apart?
Angela Lee: Stereoscopic 3D is formed due to the distance between your eyes, so each eye is seeing a separate angle that provides different information. Your brain will then process that information which allows you to understand the depth of the environment your eyes are fixed on.
3D glasses, on the other hand, are just trying to fit the correct information into each of the eyes to make sure your right eye doesn’t see your left eye’s information sees and vice versa. For example, with some of the old technologies, you would actually wear a pair of glasses with the red and blue colors, this is the exact same type of idea because they are trying to use color to split the image. 3D TVs are almost exactly the same also they just feed different information to the correct eye.
We wanted to make sure that it’s easy as possible so this would mean not wearing anything and allowing you to move without getting sick. Getting sick is one of the most common things reported back when people watch 3D content. We are aiming to deliver a really high-quality app experience so solving this issue is important to us. Finally, we have the eye-tracking algorithm which is there to resolve this issue. This is what stands us apart from other 3D experiences, especially the ones where you need to wear glasses. With our technology, you don’t have to wear glasses. Second of all because we have accurate information you don’t really get the motion sickness and blurriness that easily. You get a comfortable size viewing area in front of the screen due to the eye-tracking sensor. Stereoscopic 3D is real-time so it can track where your eyes are even if you move around a little bit. It will track your eyes and give you the correct information, so the experience itself is going to be much better. On top of all this technology, we present it all on a gorgeous 4K display, but even though it’s split in two for each eye it’s still running at 2K, so the visual resolution is a lot better than before.
GLYFE Nation: So, is there a little bit of a dead zone when you veer off too far on one side, how big is that dead area?
Angela Lee: I Can’t really give you an exact angle of because how the camera works due to the eye-tracking sensors, they actually find where the light travels. So ideally you want to be in front of the laptop around 35” to 55” in distance which is how you would normally use a device. From side to side you would have about a 35” – 70” range depending on how close you are to the device. If you picture a box in front of the device with these dimensions is where you should be able to have a clear visual.
GLYFE Nation: What do you see as far as advancements for this technology coming for the gaming side in the near future?
Angela Lee: I would say 3D gaming and how the visuals are created we have many ways to make this happen. So first at this moment, we are using the shader technology to create the experience, but we are looking into something a lot more advanced later on. What we’re doing right now is putting different layers at the correct distance from each other and giving you a little more information which ensures we have the halo effect. Basically, we shuffle the pixels so you will be able to see the correct distance between each of the layers or objects. In addition to that, we need to figure out how exactly to fill in the halo because normally if you shift a pixel, you will miss the center part and that would create a visual defect. Basically, this is what we need to fix for each game which is what we did. There are a lot more technologies we will be applying to make sure that you are actually getting all the information directly from the game, even the information that you are missing there. So this is what we are working on right now.
GLYFE Nation: So, we can expect this technology to advance quite a bit then, its just a baby right now?
Angela Lee: Absolutely it’s just a baby then on top of that of course technology is ever-growing we have different types of graphic cards coming out and more powerful CPUs. These upgrades will help a lot in terms of how much we can do because gaming and the 3D world consume a lot of power. If we want to make everything in Stereoscopic 3D that would be another level. Just to ensure we can deliver the best experience we have to take all these things into consideration. We are not really just delivering just a piece of hardware because for specialists it’s not about a piece of hardware it’s about the whole experience. So, we have to make sure that all the hardware and software are in place now, so later on we will be able to give you, even more, advanced technology.
GLYFE Nation: You spoke a little bit about screen movement how is that going to affect precision aiming in games like Call of Duty War Zone?
Angela Lee: Your movements will not change the graphics, basically it feeds you the correct information even if you move. So, the game itself is exactly the same as it’s played in 2D, we didn’t change one thing. Precision will remain exactly the way it would be in a normal environment. This is the beauty of FPS games because when they set up a shader for the game the target itself is always its own shade and the object behind it is a different shade. They won’t get mixed up so it will be as accurate as it would be on a normal screen.
GLYFE Nation: You said the technology tracks your eyes so when you move I would imagine some of the models kind of move in front of you also?
Angela Lee: No the models do not move at all.
GLYFE Nation: Okay, I was thinking like with the glasses when you are looking at 3D and you move the objects also move. I guess the same would go for a 2D game like street fighter where you have to be super precise when landing a combo. I would imagine this t technology would not affect the hitboxes.
Angela Lee: Personal speaking I would not pick Street Fighter as a title for this technology. First of all, it’s how the game is designed. The reason why we picked most of the games is because of design for example an RPG or FPS best fit this technology. When you are talking about stereoscopic 3D you need depth and 2D games like Street Fighter don’t have this.
GLYFE Nation: Okay that was a bad example so let’s say Tekken 8 or Soul Caliber would those make more sense?
Angela Lee: Yes, those titles would make more sense.
GLYFE Nation: Are there any fighting games in the catalog right now out of the 50 available?
Angela Lee: At the moment no, most of them are RPG and FPS titles.
GLYFE Nation: What about live streaming? How does it affect live streaming when you’re on a platform like O.B.S what is being distributed out to the viewers?
Angela Lee: So, with live streaming, we have different aspects of it, the very first thing is online games and online games don’t really work because of the rendering pipeline. Online games come from the cloud and the things you receive on your end are basically the visual after its rendered. At this time we can’t get really the 3D information from an online game our technology wouldn’t work we need to have the local files on your hard drive so we can get the information we need. This also is what makes technology free of cost. Secondly, when talking about streaming normally we are playing competitive games and they don’t work due to the anti-cheat software they use. We are unable to intercept information from the game because it would be considered hacking it and the anti-cheat software prevents this from happening. You can stream the information to Twitch but the 3D only works for you visually, the game itself will appear normal to the viewer. So, if you wanted to directly stream information from your games to Twitch you should be able to do that as well with no defect in the visual.
GLYFE Nation: What about an extension if I’m a Twitch user and watching and also have the Stereoscopic 3D technology could there be some sort of extension that we could plug into Twitch to see 3D on our end?
Angela Lee: That’s the first thing I mentioned so basically when we send information out to the online platforms, we basically send the objects that have been rendered already so if the viewer wanted to see exactly what the gamer was looking at that would be very difficult because you would be watching the rendered version already.
GLYFE Nation: Let’s put a “one day” on that.
Angela Lee: But the thing about that is we do have a solution that can kind of give you that effect. Spatial Labs Go is an AR technology where you can take any of the 3D content and put it into a full window so we could use the AI to generate the 3D visuals for the viewer. So as a viewer you could put your Twitch window full screen and then launch Spatial Labs Go which should generate simulated 3D. Unfortunately, it is simulated because it is using AI to analyze the graphics and restructure so it gives you a 2.5 kind of experience. So that’s not real stereoscopic 3D but you still get that vibe if you really wanted to try it.
GLYFE Nation: I just wanted to touch on new game additions. The platform will start with 50 titles but what can we expect for release frequency, is it going to be a handful or a fixed number each month?
Angela Lee: Currently we are scheduling 5 to 10 new titles a month.
GLFYE Nation: That’s a great start, hopefully, more than 120 new titles a year.
Angela Lee: I hope so! Currently, we are looking into the classics for example Assassins Creed and of course, we are looking into newer releases as well. Once the game is released, we will be able to look at it and create a profile for the title. It’s going to be a sexy mix of new and classic games.
GLYFE Nation: Are you going to get World of Warcraft in there for all the MMO people?
Angela Lee: Definity have to see that in 3D!
GLYFE Nation: let’s touch up a bit on the developer’s side you mentioned earlier not much has been done on their end, correct?
Angela Lee: That is correct.
GLYFE Nation: So in order to covert a game you don’t need to be in contact with the developer and have them post any updates or any patches, its all done on your end?
Angela Lee: Currently no but of course game developers they can definitely make the 3D effect even more perfect. Sometimes developers can be a little bit lazy, so they combine different objects in one layer or one shader, and sometimes this causes a problem. If they are willing to split the object into different shaders that would help us a lot, so there are some things they can definitely do. At the moment the games that are released on our platform are games the developers put a lot of effort in. We have basically verified the quality already for titles that have been released and for those we don’t support it might be due to a shader issue.
GLYFE Nation: We have to put a big Astrix on that for any developers that read this interview and let them know not to be lazy, get out there and do your work!
Angela Lee: If they do want to be lazy, we can work somehow together to make it easier for them.
GLYFE Nation: Is there anything that you would like to add that we may have missed?
Angela Lee: Any hardware to buy from Acer that has the Spatial Labs technology will come with all the applications you need to use it at no charge or subscription fee.
GLYFE Nation: That’s huge!