By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
While at CES, we see a lot of interesting things, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this year has been fairly dull for filmmakers. That’ll change come April with NAB. But ASUS is showcasing an amazing product that not only will get gamers excited, but editors will love it as well. Are you ready for the Republic of Gamers Bezel-Free Kit that turns three screens into one?
Multi-monitor surround setups provide unparalleled panoramas that extend well into your periphery. But there’s an unsightly catch: bezels block the view where adjacent screens meet, interrupting your sense of immersion. At CES 2018, we’re demonstrating a new concept that hides bezels behind optical camouflage to create a more seamless picture. – Asus Republic of Gamers Website
Studies show that the more screen real estate you have, the more productive you will be. That’s pretty obvious when cutting a movie, as your NLE needs a lot of room for menus, asset windows, tools, etc. Multiple monitors have done the trick for the last decade, but with the emergence of virtual reality, so comes the importance of being able to properly align your 360 degree camera clips to make them as seamless as possible. Consequently, that’s where the bezels of your monitors can get in the way. The Asus ROG Bezel Free Kit solves this problem nicely.
The Kit doesn’t eliminate the bezels of your monitors so much as they hide them. Using an optical refraction technique, the kit merges the ends of each monitor and then reflects the screen’s edges on the screen that is overlaid on top of the bezel’s seams. “The concept is simple,” states Asus ROG website. “Thin lenses are placed along the seams where screens meet; they contain optical micro-structures that refract light, bending it inward to hide the bezels underneath.”
Custom clips hold each refractor screen in place between two monitors and align them at the proper angle. All told, there’s only three working parts per seam. There’s no need for software to drive it, so it doesn’t drain processor resources, nor do you have to install drivers or re-render your video files to match its aspect ratio.
The transparent thermoplastic is called PMMA, and it lets through 90% of the light from the monitors shine through. Though the image above makes it appear like the separation between monitors disappears completely, that’s not entirely the case. You can still see a shadow to it.
The cross over area between monitors is slightly dimmer than the monitors themselves, but far less distracting than the bezels that divide the image accordingly. The optical refraction also occurs at a designed angle of 130°, which Asus has determined is the sweet spot between comfort during long term viewing, and total immersion. The nice thing about it is, that there’s no latency since it’s completely optical.
At this stage, the Bezel Free Kit is designed to work with ROG Swift PG258Q, Strix XG258Q and will PG258Q monitors. However, Asus says that when the concept goes into production, the design will be able to be adapted to work with a wider array of displays.
No word on pricing or availability, but Asus is planning to make the Bezel Free Kit available later this year to support a wide variety of monitor setups up to 27″. Is it a perfect solution? Probably not. The perfect solution would be to buy the 49″ 32:9 curved monitor made by Samsung. But for a third party adapter to merge your existing monitors? The Bezel-less Kit could be a very affordable stopgap until you’re ready to make the move to different, wider display. It’s completely optical, making it a great option to consider for an instant upgrade.
It’ll also make playing Call of Duty a lot more fun. This is definitely going on my list as a contender for Best of CES.