Ford’s Virtual Reality Lab in 3D: Three-dee of Ford Vee-are

Start the video, then click on the 3D button in the menu bar to select 3D or 2D format. You can also select resolution up to 720p HD

The use of virtual reality and 3D imagery by the automakers’ design and engineering teams is a perfect subject for an enthusiast site the features stereo imagery. Cars In Depth got the chance to visit Ford’s interior design virtual reality lab at their Dearborn product development center and speak with Dr. Elizabeth Baron, one of the world’s experts on virtual reality, who heads the lab. Look for the full report on The Truth About Cars, but while you’re here, here’s a sample of the 3D animation produced by Ford’s VR hardware and software that is used in their visor based VR systems . The user’s head movements are tracked and the view he sees is immediately altered, in real time. Check out hot the view in the mirrors change as well. There’s some serious heavy lifting going on over in the digital domain  at Ford.

Stereo photos of Ford’s Virtual Reality lab after the jump.

Three-dee of Ford Vee-are

While I was at Ford’s VR lab, I asked Dr. Baron if she’d help me test out something that stereographer Neil Nathanson (see our list of links) taught me, something very “meta”, a 3D image of a 3D image. The Ford VR lab has, as you would expect, a number of computer and video display screens. In addition to some desktop size displays that let the VR team know what each eye is seeing in the visor, there’s a 3D flat screen that works with polarized glasses, as does the Mechdyne CAVE that Ford also has. Neil has been a consultant with Mercedes-Benz on using those kinds of displays at auto shows, and he told me to just put the polarized glasses in front of the 3D camera rig’s lenses. While the photos aren’t ideal because of all the reflections, you can see a little of the 3D environment inside the visors. The  3D image of the inside of the CAVE actually came out pretty well.

Click on the image gallery below to launch the Stereo Photo Viewer applet to view in optimal 3D (or 2D if you don’t have 3D glasses or a 3D display).

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