3-D computing is here. Consumers are beginning to experience it in movies, games and gambling and will soon see it on their computers, smartphones and TVs. Enterprises will be investing heavily in 3-D technology upgrades and applications for collaboration, training and in vertical application areas like healthcare delivery.
The impact of the shift will be far greater than can be measured by any traditional technique. Display and interface technologies today are based on the GUI demonstrated more than 40 years ago at Xerox PARC and commercialized in the 1980s by Apple and Microsoft.
This report describes many impacts of the shift to 3-D computing across a broad range of sectors, including semiconductors, display technologies, consumer electronics, client computers, servers, networks, software and services.
While 3-D technology has been around for the better part of a hundred years (see Appendix A for a complete timeline), the factors needed for sustainable growth in this sector have emerged and can already been seen in the success of 3-D cinema. This will spread to the consumer market for home entertainment, for both cinema and gaming. At the same time, the IT industry is incorporating 3-D technology into the two most important operating systems — Windows and Mac OS — this year. Microsoft and Apple are pushing more visual and natural interfaces for their systems and applications.
Our detailed report starts with an overview of 3-D display technology and then covers the interface technologies that will be used to capture 3-D information. Finally, we survey the computing technologies needed to support the creation, movement and delivery of content, including: graphics processing, software, hardware and network services.
The report concludes by showing the ecosystems around the key application segments, market dynamics, forecasts and recommendations about which technologies and companies to watch in the next few years.