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HP's Zvr 'virtual reality' display shows holographic projections

HP's Zvr 'virtual reality' display shows holographic projections

HP's 23.6-inch Zvr monitor can project 3D images, which users can navigate through, zoom and manipulate

HP Zvr 23.6-inch Virtual Reality Display (6)

HP Zvr 23.6-inch Virtual Reality Display (6)

Holographic imaging meets virtual reality in HP's futuristic Zvr display, which bring new levels of 3D interactivity not yet seen in monitors.

The 23.6-inch display combines sensing and imaging technology from HP's research labs that change how 3D content is viewed and modified. The monitor projects full 3D images into thin air, and users -- who have to wear 3D glasses -- can then navigate, zoom and manipulate those images without touching the screen.

For example, users can tilt, zoom and manipulate a projected 3D object using a stylus that connects to the monitor. Sensors in the monitor track the movement of the viewer's head and project images at the appropriate angle.

HP sees its Zvr monitors being used in science, engineering and education. The ability to view a projection of a building design in 3D could speed up engineering decisions and modifications. A full 3D projection is also a great way to educate students about human anatomy and other scientific topics. The monitors could also be helpful to oil companies seeking to more easily visualize geological data.

Because the 3D projection from the monitor can be viewed only by the person wearing 3D glasses, HP is selling add-on products to replicate the projected image in real time on large-screen 2D monitors, for group discussions.

The Zvr monitor can be seen as a cousin to HP's Sprout PC, which allows manipulation of scanned 3D images on an interactive surface. The PC has Intel's depth-sensing RealSense camera that can take 3D pictures, which are then projected to a digital art canvas called Touch Mat on which users can change colors or manipulate images.

For such an advanced monitor, the specifications seem ordinary. The Zvr has a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution display, and 170-degree horizontal and 160-degree vertical viewing angles. It has DVI, DisplayPort and two USB 2.0 ports, and lacks USB 3.0 and HDMI ports. The monitor can be tilted to different angles, so it can be a secondary screen to larger displays.

The price for Zvr was not immediately available, but it will ship later this year. The stylus and 3D eyewear are included with the monitor.

The display was announced at the International CES trade show in Las Vegas, where HP also announced its first curved displays.

HP's Z34c and Envy 34c are 34-inch curved screens that can show images at a 3440 x 1440-pixel resolution. The monitors will ship in April starting at $999.

The monitors have picture-in-picture capabilities, so content from two connected devices can be viewed at the same time. The monitors have one DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. The monitors have similar specifications including the same contrast ratio, 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, a 21:9 aspect ratio and RTS speakers. The Envy product line is targeted at consumers, while the Z34c is targeted at businesses.

HP is also now shipping new 27-inch EliteDisplay S270c and HP Pavilion 27c curved displays for $399.

Following in the footsteps of Apple and Dell, HP will also start shipping its first 5K monitor, the Z27q, in March for $1,299. That's the lowest price yet for a 5K monitor, comparing favorably to Dell's UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD monitor, which is priced at $2,499.99 but has not yet shipped. HP's 27q has an aspect ratio of 16:9, two DisplayPort and three USB 3.0 ports.

HP did not provide a refresh rate for any of the new monitors, which is an important measure for display performance.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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