ANAHEIM, CA (SIGGRAPH 2013) July 25 2013 - Some months ago, I interviewed the folks from zSpace over the phone, and so only got to see
pictures of their hardware. Now at SIGGRAPH 2013, I got a hands-on of their
take on interacting with 3D CAD.
Their take is a large monitor modified to rest on the desk at an angle. This makes it easier to work with the stylus: I can rest our arm on it, rather than holding it in the air with the usual monitor orientation. A pair of infrared cameras are built into the bezel. I can don polarizing glasses; zSpspace is the first I''ve seen with clip-ons for those of us who already wear glasses. Nice touch!
Put on the glasses, and the 3D model pops out into the air. Grasping ahold of the stylus, we see a green light shoot out of its end. The green vector helps us determine which part we are selecting in complex models. Here's the strange part: the green vector is visible only when wearing the glasses.
Using the stylus, I was able to quickly pick apart the parts of an automotive under carriage. The green vector made the job precise. When I moved our head, the glasses instructed the model to move along.
The price of zSpace is not cheap at $6000, but costs no more than the current crop of 4K monitors that don't include the 3D interface. The Zspace folks figure the price will be coming down over time, and quickly added that bulk purchase discounts are available. The display's software reads the usual variety of MCAD and M&E formats.