If you want to know what HP's new Zvr display is like, imagine an architect's drafting table. Then, imagine that you are wearing silly glasses, reaching inside the drafting table with a pair of tweezers and using them to twist and turn a beating, 3D, human heart. It's the future of work! I hope.
At its core, the HP Zvr is just a giant desk display. It's almost like Microsoft's OG Surface, the one that was more coffee table than tablet. To use it you don a pair of 3D glasses and pick up a stylus that functions as your cyber tweezers, your tool to reach inside the screen.
And reach inside the screen you will, the Zvr uses something HP calls "zSpace technology", which is just a corporate-nerd way of saying that the screen uses 3D to make it seem like images are popping out from the screen, but also receding into it. Because the display can tell where the glasses are, it knows how you're peering at it. That's what lets it give this "looking into another dimension" effect. It's weird. It's cool!
The demo I tried involved a 3D model of a human heart, and while it was pumping, I used to stylus to rip out complex architectures of veins and rotate them around like a cyber surgeon. I zoomed into a non-existent left ventricle, zoomed out and turned it around a few times, and leaned to the side to see it from a new angle.
HP's Zvr will be coming out this spring, but it's probably not for you: price is only available on request, which says pretty much all there is to say about what kind of markets this is aimed at. It could prove invaluable for modellers who are constantly tinkering with 3D structures, or for educating students on anatomy without cutting a bunch of dead shit open.
With wired styli and goofy glasses, the execution isn't seamless but it's slick nonetheless, and I hope I run into one of these things again. I am not done playing with it.