Acer’s SpatialLabs to bring 3DS-like effects to notebooks

Ever wondered where the stereoscopic 3D of Nintendo’s 3DS handheld went? Well, it appears Acer is the one to reintroduce it to the world. Today, Acer announced SpatialLabs under their ConceptD banner. Starting with notebooks, Acer’s design division is looking to bring more depth into your workflow. Consider it a professional take on Nintendo 3DS’s stereoscopic view.

During the 2021 edition of their Next@Acer presentation, Acer did not dive into the specifics of how SpatialLabs works. It seems to involve a display spitting stereoscopic images, as well as some sophisticated eye tracking solution. Together, they are meant to add literal 3D perspective to anything you might design on screen.

Promotional image of Acer's SpatialLabs technology, emphasizing the holographic effect of stereoscopic 3D on a prototype ConceptD notebook.

It’s still early for SpatialLabs, but Acer ensures the technology is already integrated with professional software like Autodesk suites and Blender. Models, scenes and more can “pop out” of the screen, often with just the flick of a switch. Additionally, users can view common 3D object files (like .obj and .slTF) in stereoscopic 3D without the need for loads of extra software.

So, can I game in 3D again?

As Acer’s ConceptD is mostly targeting creative professionals, SpatialLabs is not actively working with game developers. However, Unreal Engine makers Epic Games have already publicly spoken about their interest in the stereoscopic 3D, possibly hinting at integrating the plug-in into their own suites. It’s still far away, but there might be a chance 3D gaming is making a comeback, long after the Nintendo left it for dead after their 3DS generation.

So far, Acer hasn’t officially listed any upcoming ConceptD notebooks to feature SpatialLabs. It appears a model of the ConceptD 7 notebook featured it, but this might just be a prototype.

Acer and ConceptD are however opening applications for creative professionals to partner up with SpatialLabs. Those who will successfully enroll in the program, will receive a prototype ConceptD notebook, featuring the stereoscopic 3D screen and proprietary eye tracking.

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