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Saturday, May 3, 2014

MUFA Day#27: Crystal Symphony and the Return of 3D

My Ultimate Fantasy Adventure, Day #27, was like any cruise day, so let me keep that short and add a report on the return of three dimensional television.

I should indicate that the readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel+Leisure have voted Crystal Cruises to be the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for 16 years now.  Thus, while I can only crystallize the essence with my photos and reportage, I can only rave about the service, cuisine and overflowing amenities.

I had to sacrifice a meal, so I sleep in and begin eating with lunch, and today I had two soups, two salads and some mushroom concoction with  a Bloody Mary and glass of Chardonnay:

Then for dinner, Nobu's sushi bar:

You can order menu items like miso soup and Wagyu steak from Nobu's Silk Road.  You can only barely see them here, but for the first time in my life I had a cold sake, hot sake and cold beer at the same sitting to accompany my meal.  Then the evening ended at Luxe, a discotheque that played songs of the 50's and 60's, but probably because the people dancing were that old.  How's this for heaven?  I was the only male with ladies mostly from Japan and India:

Discos didn't come into existence until the 70's, and peaked in the 80's.  This was so long ago that I forgot how to spell discotheque.

Well, let me tag on this posting about the return of 3D.  We see in three dimensions, so I have eternally been pursuing the reality of 3D in photos and television.  We've long had this feature in movie theaters, although the bother of glasses and the minimalist enhancement did not make the extra expenditure worthwhile.  The concept has been around for nearly a century.  Remember Bwana Devil in 1952?

Here is the full 80 minute movie.  All you need to do is find those polaroid glasses.

Several decades ago when I was into photography, having a darkroom using Cibachrome, I invested in various gadgets that promised 3D.  The results were mediocre and not worth the effort.  There still are various techniques to produce 3D views.

Two years ago I bought two SONY large screen TV sets featuring 3D.  The early hype worked on me, for I was surprised how much more realistic football, and even golf, played on the screen.  Well, while not totally dead, 3D TV turned out to be a waste of money, as programming was abandoned and those glasses were a pain.

However, now comes Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that just could well provide the answer.  Here is the story:
  • Two decades or so ago, John Carmack wrote a 3D video game and became a legend in his field.
  • Two years ago 19-year old Palmer Luckey created what is now Oculus Rift, financially aided by Carmack.
  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was so inspired by the prospect of OR, let's call it Rift, that he paid $2 billion for that company.  While gaming remains as the first bridge, the implications of total virtual reality is obvious.
Mind you, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion, just to share photos, so don't get too excited about the early commercialization of 3D for everything you see using electronics.  Certainly, there is competition, for that same SONY company recently announced Project Morpheus (below) a virtual reality (meaning 3D) headset for gaming.  Yes, 3D is on the horizon.


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