Sharp Systems of America today announced its first standalone 3D monitor, a tool that could someday help data center managers analyze complex data traffic at different network layers.
The new 15-incher runs at about $1,499, and experts say it makes 3D viewing affordable without requiring special eyeglasses or distorting the standard 2D viewing.
"As the computer power has increased, people are modeling things that can be portrayed in very complicated 3D geometry... We've got an awful lot of military usage happening right now," explains Ian Matthew, 3D business development manager at the Huntington Beach, Calif., division of Sharp Electronics Corp.
The technology began in European R&D labs, expanded to Japanese cell phones, and soon will be used in everything from computer-aided design software to videogame consoles, Matthew says. In the business world, targeted users include cartographers, geologists, and surgeons.
But 3D has importance in IT as well. "Spatially, there are things you could visualize and represent about how relationships come into play," says John Meyer, a VP of brand strategy at Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA).
"Instead of two dimensions with multiple windows, you could have one window and it would just kind of stretch out," he says. "I think in the operations side, the killer app will be a real-time thread console, where a thread can be a new network component, a traffic bottleneck, or a whole business process."