The company will show the device, which is available now, at the CES 2019 trade show event in January. The Sunnyvale, California-based company said the laptop is the first portable Windows PC to break the screen barrier between users and VR content by creating a multi-dimensional environment that leaps out of the screen.
Featuring patented 3D screen technology and lightweight glasses, the Zspace (the company styles it zSpace) laptop is aimed at fostering creativity, collaboration, and education by allowing users to interact with VR content in a more flexible and immersive environment that doesn’t hinder spatial awareness or block peripheral vision. When not used for VR content, the $1,400 laptop serves as a traditional Windows 10 PC.
“The computing experience has mostly remained unchanged since the introduction of the mouse and touchscreen in the 1980s. With Zspace technology, we are totally reinventing the capabilities of personal computers by eliminating the barrier between our eyes and the content we interact with, allowing for complete immersion in games and incredibly interactive apps for education, ecommerce, enterprise, and more,” said Zspace CEO Paul Kellenberger. “Our Zspace laptop PC packs all of the awesome capabilities afforded by our award-winning desktop into a cost-effective and compact, take-anywhere form factor.”
The Zspace laptop comes equipped with a set of specially designed glasses that enable depth perception of virtual content, and a stylus boasting six degrees of freedom that allows users to pick up items on the screen and move them naturally in 3D space. Those two items, combined with the laptop’s built-in tracking sensors, allow the Zspace technology to track head and hand movements and dynamically correct the viewing perspective in full HD.
The Zspace laptop specifications include an Advanced Micro Devices APU A9-9420 (which combines a central processing unit and a graphics processing unit in a single chip), 8GB of DDR4 main memory; a 256GB SSD storage device, wireless networking, and a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 full HD screen. It enables 3D viewing when paired with circular polarized viewing glasses.
“One of the things driving innovation at AMD is working with companies, like Zspace, who are creating novel solutions that need powerful compute and graphics capabilities that only AMD can provide,” said Kevin Lensing, corporate vice president and general manager of embedded solutions at AMD, in a statement. “With AMD’s strong x86 processor and graphics technology and the ability to combine them on a compact system on a chip design, Zspace was able to turn its unique laptop dreams into reality, creating a complete package in a portable computing experience that readily immerses users into virtual environments.”
More than 1,000 school districts, technical centers, medical schools, and universities rely on Zspace today. The company said millions of learners have experienced Zspace, and academic studies have demonstrated an average performance improvement of 16 percent with Zspace education apps.
Zspace has 200 employees and has raised a total of $56.6 million. The company said it currently has more than 40 patents.