Widescreen Gaming Forum

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2013, 15:17 
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Calling all wide screen gamers and anybody else bored by the lack of surround screen innovation at CES 2013!

I would really appreciate your opinions and input regarding a potential new super wide screen gaming display.

Image

For the last few years we’ve been developing a display for panoramas, panoramic film, etc. for use in Museum installations. The basic component is a bezeless, (on 3 sides) 60 degree, curved screen cabinet, with an image size of 60” x 45” (i.e a 75” screen). Standard curve radius is 5 feet (1.5 meters). These can be seamlessly combined to make 120, 180, etc. displays and in single or double height.

You could make a 360 degree, 7 ft high screen, 10ft in diameter, but I haven’t worked out how you’d get in and out of it yet ;)

Here’s a quick video of a single unit running in my workroom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo7b8annwnw

Inside there’s a projector, and some newly developed optics to deliver an image that is in focus across the entire screen area, with even illumination, and virtually zero geometric distortion.
We experimented with warping software (Warpalizer is excellent, btw), but in the end elected to make hardware that would alleviate the need for digital warping, to reduce cost, eliminate latency, and give us one less hoop to jump through when creating 3D content (yes it supports 3D in various formats :).

As you can imagine it hasn’t exactly been cheap to develop, but now that it is working, we see many applications beyond the original idea. If I ever get a house big enough, I’d love one of these things at home. I’m not a big gamer myself (ashamed) but a friend of mine sent me this link, and I suddenly realised we could create something along these lines, for the pro-gamer with a large basement! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8Bh5iI2WY

My question to you is, if there were a commercially available curved screen, that you could connect seamlessly together to build bezeless 120, 180, up to 360 displays, would it be something the more hardcore gaming/simulator community would support? Or is Oculus Rift the answer to everything?
We would like to produce the screens more economically for our museum customers, which as usual is a question of volume.

If we could potentially sell hundreds of units, we believe we could get the fabrication costs down around $400 per cabinet, and ship it as a flat-back, in good old IKEA fashion.
There has to be a projector inside, though we have developed software and production methods to create the appropriate reflectors for various models and could add more. Buying in bulk we could get a very good price on those as well.

What do you think? All feedback, both negative and positive would be useful when deciding if it’s something to pursue. Potential investors also welcome!

Cheers,

Peter Strømberg, aka theMightyAtom


Last edited by theMightyAtom on 14 Jan 2013, 17:03, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2013, 16:45 
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Joined: 08 May 2011, 18:58
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Awesome!

But there are a few things that come into my mind.

60"x45" aka 75" = 4:3 Well okay, in 75" 4:3 isn't as bad ^^ and if you have more than one it doesn't matter anymore!
But when you have 3 Parts and get a 180° you have 1.5m Radius. Kinda sure Racing game fans would Love it!
But for FPS.... i think it might feel cramped or to near 140-160° angle might be better there. Aren't you supposed to sit at the center of the circle?
Would love to see three of these connected in Eyfinity/Surround

About the "Bezelless" moar details plx! At first glance it looks cool. Can you make some more Photos ? And how deep is that thing? You said it has a Projector Inside? So i assume around 80-120cm ? Projector..... is it a glass panel ? And whats the Resolution ? 1920*1080 doesn't work in 4:3 or does it because it would stretch? Would it be possible to use a different projector ? aka QuadHD 4K ? or maybe just 'a few' projectors on which the special optics would fit ?

And Yeah, Occulus Rift is the Future for sure! But it has one big malfit. its 1 Person only! and before VR is going to be 'standard' the Multi Monitor Walls are selling ;)
I see more and more people using Eyefinity/Surround. And when you started using it once you won't go back! You want to go bigger! I've tought about getting bigger screens for a while now....


So what about Movies ? if i have a 180° Setup and want to watch a Movie. How odes that work out? somehow i failt at trying to imagine how that would look!

Setups i can think of.

1 Screen
2x1L (Only if it really is bezelles! If you have 3mm ore more Space then no Shooter fan would use that)
3x1L
3x2L

and for the "VR"
6x1L
3x2L



Daaamnnn, i can already see myself with a 3x2L playing star Citizen xD :triplewide:

_________________
We gonna send it to outa space!


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2013, 17:02 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2012, 11:29
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hi Haldi,

First of all thanks a lot for your feedback. You've earned a hefty discount, should we launch into production :)

The 4:3 ratio was actually chosen for a few reasons:
1. when using a 3 x 2 configuration (which is the only one we've really been focusing on), you get a 2:1 aspect ratio, that works well for simulating the human frustrum of vision.
2. it's close to 16:9 (precisely 16:8) meaning you can use almost all the pixels from standard video recording equipment.
3. when we started some 3 years ago, we were using the Dell S300 projector, and that can only handle 3D in 4:3 mode.

Now that most projectors manange 120Hz in all modes, this is definately something that could be altered, or even become an option.

As for the 3m diameter of the screen, for the initial application that also made the most sense. It results in a lifesize 1:1 scale, adding to the immersiveness. It's also just big enough for a family to experience the installation together (there's a booster box for the youngest/shortest members of the family). The other consideration is the actual area required for the installation. If you were building a 120 degree screen, a larger radius might be worth considering, if it would better mimic the 3 landscape, or 5 portrait monitor approach, and make use of the hacks and mods already programmed for this.

Our first prototype was 90cm deep. Now we have it down to 50cm.
For museum installations we are opting for glass, but the screen alone weighs 300kg. We have an acrylic alternative, which is much lighter and cheaper to produce, if not as scratch resistant.

Is it big enough for FPS? For one man, I would say yes. To get an idea of the size, try hopping on a 3m (10ft) trampoline, especially if it has a safely net. There's plenty room for arm movements. An omni-directional treadmill would (I'm guessing) cost 20 times the rest of the installation, so we're looking into hacking a Wii fit board to use as a "walking" device (shift weight to move), which should still give something of a workout, while keeping the player rooted to the center of the circle, the ideal viewing position.

Driving simulators, flight simulators, where you build a physical chair/cockpit should be ideal and offer a more standardized (cheaper?) approach to rolling your own, although that's half the fun, I know!

Normal movies > Fail. You really need something recorded with a fisheye, (it's the only way to view GoPro movies!) and vertically corrected. With DSLR's recording sweet HD and fisheyes being as cheap as they are, you could soon be capturing all you birthday parties in surround video ;). I haven't tried yet, but it's on my list of things to do to try recording stereoscopic fisheye video. All I'm missing is a DSLR set-up identical to the one I've got. (hmmm, 2 GoPro's would do the trick, and be a lot cheaper, if not quite 180 degrees).

We will be releasing more details of the museum version, just as soon as the design is suitably protected.

Anybody else see any pitfalls or have any feature requests, please let us know.

Cheers! :cheers:

:TrueWS:


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2013, 08:22 
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During the recent Forum outage, the second page of this thread was unfortunately lost forever. However, curved surround screen development goes on :onethumb:
For those that had posted replies, it would be great if you could post again. Luckily we had read and absorbed all comments thoroughly, so your input was not in vain.

Image

Here is the original 3D mock-up of the surround screen gaming desk. http://www.strombergindustries.com/gamedesk/
(Best viewed in Firefox, as Chrome's inbuilt Flash Player has something against Fullscreen.)

Use the right mouse button to change the screenshot shown on the screen, or to upload your own. There's quite a few in the Game archives...
Also included are 3 streaming game demos, though they may take a while to load.

Please keep the feedback and wishes coming, they are really helpful and inspirational.
We expect to reveal the next demo soon, based on all the feedback received so far, so stay tuned.

Cheers!

:TrueWS:


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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2013, 06:14 
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What happened to the development of this technology?


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PostPosted: 22 Sep 2013, 13:46 
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Still going strong :)

The market research showed that the desktop edition would not be economically viable, that is to say it could not compete with HD monitors costing so little, and good projectors still relatively expensive. That equation may change, and we are always looking for more affordable ways to make this, but for now we are concentrating our efforts on larger screens, where current monitors can not compete, on size or price.

We're developing a website at the same time as we develop the business model and find the right dimensions for each model.
You can track our progress at http://www.strombergindustries.com

Cheers!


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