Last year saw the introduction of 3D into a range of products, and on the back of announcements from the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, this year we’ll see better performance, consumer-generated content and more affordable pricing for the third dimension.
Last year showed us that electronics makers shouldn’t count on movie studios to deliver 3D content for the 3D displays and players they’ve invested so heavily in, so this year they’re looking to consumers to create their own 3D content.
The Bloggie 3D will let you make your own 3D flick when it arrives later this year.
Sony’s Bloggie 3D is a simple and easy-to-use personal video camera that uses two sensors and two lenses to capture video in 3D. A 3D screen on the back is a nice touch and enables you to watch what you’ve shot, without having to wear stereoscopic glasses.
JVC and Sony will join Panasonic, which debuted the world’s first consumer 3D camcorder in 2010 (HDC SDT750), in releasing dedicated consumers 3D camcorders. JVC’s GS-TD1 and Sony’s HDR-TD10 (above) will both shoot Full HD 3D to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, while also including touchscreens offering glasses-less 3D. Both cameras also feature fairly decent low-light lenses, with the Sony using a f/1.8 and the JVC offering a f/1.2.
Computers too will enter the third dimension, with HP, Sony, Fujitsu and Dell to introduce laptops using Nvidia’s active 3D glasses in 2011. This technology relies on hundred-buck glasses, and can’t be used with your 3D TV screen, so seems unlikely to find a wide audience until 3D monitors are more widespread.
Toshiba, which already markets a 3D notebook computer locally (Toshiba Qosmio X500), is looking at ditching the glasses on at least of one its 3D laptops, but we don’t expect to see that model until 2011 at the earliest.
Samsung went on the record at this year’s CES as saying it will work on reducing the price of 3D entertainment in 2011 by “by more than two thirds”, and that plasma will be part of its display offering for at least another ten years, so LCD/LED won’t be the only choice when for 3D flat panel viewing.
Samsung’s D7000 3D TV with a 0.2 inch bezel.
In fact, by the end of this year, 3D will be integrated into more displays from the big manufacturers, as well as models from second-tier brands and no-names out of Chinese factories, a development that will make the technology more affordable to many budgets.
And it’s certain that we’ll be wearing glasses to enjoy 3D during 2011, and some time to come, although they will be look smarter fit better. Universal shutter glasses are likely to appear, with models from the likes of Monster (the cable company) marketing eyewear in the US that promises to work on any brand of 3D television. They’ll cost around $200, though.
Vizio is one of two companies looking at passive 3D technology, but it’s not yet known if these TVs will go on sale in Australia.
The handful of passive 3D displays at CES, namely from LG and Vizio, introduces to the lounge room the possibility of super-cheap 3D eyewear of the type used in cinemas. In fact, you can use those that come with your passive 3D TV in the cinema, though it’s unclear if the relationship will work the other way.
Autostereoscopy – 3D without the glasses – is still a long way from reality for big screens (more than 40 inches), however, as the technology provides only a very narrow angle of view. It will, however, find a home in small screen devices, such as video game consoles or mobile phones.
Toshiba’s small-screen autostereoscopic Regza TV.
Working within the limitation of the technology, though, is Toshiba, which is expected to introduce glasses-free small-screen 3D tellies into overseas markets this year.
Content is still the number one problem plaguing 3D delivery because there just isn’t all that much to watch. Experts have suggested there will be over 1,000 hours of 3D content available by the end of this year, but the truth of it remains to be seen.
“Gran Turismo 5” is one of a handful of available 3D titles. Look for more later this year.
Video games are part of the main push in 3D, and the HD gaming systems are what will drive this. Forget the Nintendo Wii for the moment because it’s just not powerful enough; instead, look to Sony’s PlayStation 3. This year’s top-tier action title “Uncharted 3” has been planned as a 3D release, joining available games such as movie tie-in “Tron: Evolution” and the long-awaited racing game “Gran Turismo 5”.