eDimensional Wireless E-D Glasses Review

Admin - 2007-03-01 18:40:37 in Gaming
Category: Gaming
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 24, 2003
eDimensional
eDimensional
Price: $99.95 (Wireless)
Introduction
A while back, I received a pair of the wireless eDimensional E-D (aka 3-D) glasses to review. I hadn't really heard of eDimensional before, and the thought of 3-D glasses made me a bit skeptical. Nonetheless, I checked out eDimensional's web site, and when I saw the line "the best 3-D graphics EVER", my skepticism increased.

Features (taken from the box)

 

Adjust size easily for superior comfort
Toggle 3D mode on and off with the touch of a button
Compatible with the most games and cards of any similar glasses


 

Package Contents

 

1x E-D Glasses
1x VGA Adapter
1x Infrared Transmitter
1x Software CD
1x Set of Instructions


 

System Requirements

 

CPU - 233 Mhz or Better
Windows 9x/ME/2k/XP
CD-Rom
CRT Monitor (Not compatible with flat LCD monitors)
Video Card (Works with most standard video cards)

A Closer Look / Installation

First thing is the VGA adapter, or dongle.


The male and female connectors on the dongle connect to the video card and monitor. The main part of the adapter has two additional ports on it. The port that looks like a headphone jack is used to connect the wired glasses to the adapter, whereas the other jack is where the wireless transmitter connects.



 The transmitter plugs into the dongle, and the instructions state that the IR transmitter needs to be placed under or above your monitor, directly facing you. With the 7 foot cable, this was easily accomplished. The transmitter has two IR LEDs on it which produces a wide signal spectrum... so if you turn your head to the right or left, the glasses and transmitter don't lose each other.


The glasses are made of a hard plastic, and have two LCD shutter screen eyepieces. While the glasses are adjustable to fit your head, I found the nose piece to be uncomfortable.



The power button for the glasses is located above the left eyepiece. Directly above the nose piece is the power chamber where the two 3V Lithium batteries are.

The instructions say to power down you computer and monitor, hook everything back up, then fire the system back up. I just disconnected the monitor from the PC and hooked everything up. No problem whatsoever.

Now it's time to installed the software. The 3-D glasses come with auto-running CD that includes the nVidia 30.82 drivers for Windows XP/2K/9x and the 30.83 drivers for NT4. The CD also includes the nVidia 30.82 stereo drivers. In addition to the drivers, the CD also includes 3DCombine, which allows you to make your own 3D images, eScreen 3D screen saver, and wicked 3d which would not install because I was running a "Windows NT operating system.

The nVidia stereo drivers allow you to turn on and off the stereo display, as well as adjust various options.

 

 


The eScreen 3-D screen saver looks cool by it's self, and turns 3D when viewed with the glasses.

 

In addition, you can also download load other 3D screen savers with themes ranging from The Matrix to Quake.

Testing & Results
This is probably the hardest review I've done. With items like a heat sink or PSU I can show recorded results, with 3D glasses, I can't show you a 3D picture like what you would see with the glasses on. The only way you could see an image the way I am would be to look through the glasses yourself.

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix was the first game I tried. I started out at the last save game I had. Siberia, I think is the location... anyway, I was instantly amazed. The snow blowing around was unbelievable. I was actually paying so much attention to the snow, I didn't pay attention to the guard, and was killed. After loading the game back up, I took a run around killing people... it was always fun before to see someone's arm/leg go flying, but having the parts come flying at you was definitely more enjoyable.

Quake III ranks right up there with some of my least favorite games (CS to name another) however seeing the game in 3D was unbelievable. As with SoF2 and the other games, the weapons looked like they were really in your hands.

UT2K3 was without a doubt the most spectacular game I played using the 3D glasses. The game is great by itself, but given the depth by the 3D glasses, the game truly comes alive.

I enjoyed playing each of the games above using the 3D glasses, and while my testing was limited to a few FPSers, eDimensional does have a huge list of tested games. Everything from sports to racing to flight sims and even role playing games. In addition to the games, I'd also like to say that the test in Future Mark�s 3DMark2001SE look amazing as well. It looked like you could actually reach out and grab the dragon by the horns.

In addition to just playing the games, I had my brother try the glasses on to see how well they fit over his eye glasses. They did fit over the glasses, however, he had to keep pushing the glasses up. A clip, or some method to attach the E-D glasses to normal eye glasses would be a plus.

During the many hours of use, I did have one complaint. eDimensional claims that the glasses are comfortable, however I found that the noise piece was definitely not comfortable. An adjustable soft plastic noise piece could easily solve that eD! Though, I will admit, despite the discomfort, I did continue to play for several hours.

This last issue, I didn't notice till the last day I was using the glasses. Apparently the E-D glasses doesn't like my Cambridge Sound works DTT3500. With the wireless glasses turned on, I could not adjust my speakers via the remote. It didn't cause a problem with my TV, VCR, DVD, or stereo remotes, but I'm sure there are other IR devices out there that might have a problem.

The biggest drawback to using the 3D glasses is the performance drop. Depending on the game, I noticed a drop in frame rate anywhere from 5% to 35%. While in single player, it's not that big of a deal, this would be deadly in online play and especially tournaments. Why the drop in performance? I'll try and explain that a bit in the next section.

 

How it Works
Each eye sees an object slightly offset. The brain places these two visions together in a way that creates our perception of depth. The E-D system simulate this by creating two images, one for each eye. The LCD lenses of the shutter glasses alternates between opaque and clear during use, which is basically like turning each eye on and off. When the right image is displayed, the right eye lens is clear and the left eye is opaque. And when the left image is displayed the opposite happens. The shuttering of the lenses happen many times a second, and your brain fuses these separate images into a 3D image.

Because 2 images are having to be rendered all the time, you take a hit in the performance.

Aside from the performance loss, there is an occasional "ghosting" of an image that can happen. This is caused when one of your eyes catches the image intended for the other eye.

 

Conclusion

This was definitely a fun product to review. Within seconds, my skepticism was ceased, and I have to admit, the E-D glasses did give me "the best 3-D graphics" that I had ever experienced. I'd definitely recommend the glasses to anyone looking for something new. Those of you out there that after nothing but “maj0r pWnAgE” should definitely take the performance cut in mind. At $100.00, the glasses may be a bit pricey for some people, for those willing to shell out the cash you won't be disappointed.

Pros:

 

Easy to install
Unbelievable results
Wired or wireless version
Adjustable ear pieces
Thousands of tested games
Batteries included

 

Cons:

  Uncomfortable
A bit pricy
Interference with some other IR devices (Wireless version only)


I'd like to thank eDimensional for providing this to us for review!