CES and 3D go hand-in-hand. The trend has persisted for years now at the show, in a sort of “always the bridesmaid never the bride” way. Something always seems seems to manage to overshadow 3D, yet the hype and promise of its full emergence into the consumer market remains.
Casio took a different route with 3D this year, turning 2D images into 3D works of art. The manufacturer was sparse on details behind the printing technology (it uses a proprietary rendering technique and specialized 3D printer)—including whether or not it would be coming to market. At the booth, Casio was trying to figure that out via visitor feedback.
The images are certainly more lifelike than what we’ve seen from 3D printers thus far, and turns what are likely very ordinary pictures into visually stunning (albeit somewhat frightening) versions of themselves.
Casio also introduced something called Relief Transformation, which adds a bit of depth, contrast, and texture to picture—it’s a pretty big upgrade from its HDR effects, but only visible in printed work.
The notion that Casio is spending time on this without a decision as to its marketability is sort of amazing. The company has stumbled a bit lately, although much of that can be tied to Asian natural disasters that seriously affected its inventory and manufacturing plans. But in creating for the sake of creating, you sometimes stumble onto something users actually want. We’re not willing to place our bets on this item in particular yet, but props to Casio for creating what’s perhaps the most realistic attempt at glasses-free 2D to 3D photo conversion.