Vijay Anand's Blog

Vijay Anand male Editor of HardwareZone.com

A pioneering contributor of HardwareZone.com since its inception in 1998, his keen interest in DIY computing has helped establish standards for testing, reporting, layout and styling of online articles. As the Editor of the site since 2005, he oversees all content production with the editorial team and the several contributors who power the portal and maintain the popular forums.

The Grand 3D Trial - Are you for it?

3D in the theatres, 3D in the TVs, 3D in Games, 3D here, 3D there.... I'm sure you get a feeling that 3D is the next cash cow that the industry is trying to milk. It has hardly taken off yet in the global scale of things since the actual mainstream consumer grade 3D capable equipment have yet to arrive, but already there seems to be a saturation of this momentum for those in the tech circles. Will it really kick off?

Content aside, the next hurdle are the physical glasses themselves. Eliminate the need for those and with the right content, 3D will definitely be the next big thing. The glasses might look and sound like a trivial matter, but that alone might be the tipping point if 3D remains a mainstay or relegated to the niche wonderland of geeks. Just think about it; apart from having the right sweet spot of viewing (depending on 3D viewing technology adopted), just having to wear some eye-wear to experience the third dimension isn't exactly the most practical. Not to mention the possible interference between partners for more intimate films while wearing such headsets.

But to give this thought more perspective, 3D is far from being doomed and it has a lot of potential judging by the eagerness of consumers, manufacturers and content creators. We've seen first hand what Avatar did for consumers and the industry as a whole. However, the question is what level of acceptance it would gain for it to be the next de facto feature in home consumer electronics?

After all, even in 2015 of Hill Valley (Back to the Future, Part 2), the only real 3D element by means of augmented reality was probably the holographic shark advertisement. Despite it just being a movie, is that a sign that 3D is really for a niche market and the 3D craze would pass by us? Or would it be the next big revolution to stay that none has predicted in the past?

It's still early days yet, so share us your thoughts on 3D, what you are anticipating and what might be its fate.

All Reponses

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Hi junialum, you're very right on both accounts.

The second point on cost can be quite prohibitive for a family of 5 - the active shutter glasses for the whole family can cost up to a $1000. If not for a family, you still have to factor in extra for friends unless they are going to be treated with 2D when you have a 3D screen - they'll be miffed.

But all of the above will play a big role when we actually have enough 3D content. At the moment, there's too little of it and while there's a lot more genuine effort put into this development, it's still going to be limited even next year. So perhaps this lag time would help buy time to bring about more affordable 3D screens and 3D glasses, while content builds up in the interim.

In my personal projection, we can only truly tell if the 3D momentum is a success in 2012. The cinemas will always have an audience, but it's only mainstream if that tech proliferates into households as well.

Cheers.


There are 2 major obstacles to 3D:

1. Finding the correct field of vision or a user customizable one for 3D glasses. Although a majority of the population have no difficulties watching an hour or 2 of 3D content. Going through more than 4 hours can cause severe headaches.

2. Turning it mainstream. The major issue is that everyone needs a pair of 3D glasses. They have to find a cost effective way to produce such glasses because this is hardly appealing to large families or those who entertain many guests regularly.

A good start would be to create panels that can swap between 2D and 3D at a small price difference to a purely 2D panel. This would make future consumers buy 3D capable panels. Getting a technology mainstream is hard and is often a gradual process for something as phenomenal as 3D.

Start buy enticing customers to buy normal screens but have a bonus feature of being 3D capable. When more and more customers have those, start slowly pushing glasses at low cost.

If you go right up to a customer and tell him - Get a 3D TV for $x and that he also needs to buy glasses for each family member at $x * y. He's going to be put off.


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