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3D Glasses Head to Market

1:40 PM -- The technological barriers to providing 3DTV to the masses are mostly solved, just in time for the World Cup. (See GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!!)

But what about those glasses?

I'd never thought about 3D glasses needing to be standardized, but apparently that's what the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is working on. For now, every TV manufacturer is making its own sets of glasses.

XpanD, the company that's been providing 3D glasses to movie theaters, sees this as a chance to get into the home market.

I hadn't heard of XpanD until yesterday, when David Chechelashvili, head of gaming and retail, spoke on a panel at the Connections conference, put on by analyst firm Parks Associates . The topic was 3DTV, of course.

Chechelashvili figures that if glasses could be bought retail, it could only help the 3D market. Imagine having friends over to watch the 3D World Cup, for instance -- why not make it easy to procure a couple dozen pairs of glasses, while also letting some people bring their own?

By the end of summer, XpanD expects to start selling glasses that work with all the TV manufacturers' 3D sets. They'll be available at major retailers. The timing will be a few months ahead of the CEA standard, so XpanD expects to have the market to itself for a short time.

That's all nice, but there's a more obvious problem than standards here: getting people to wear these things. Another panel member -- Ajay Luthra, senior director of advanced technology at Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) -- said, more than once, that his wife hates the glasses and won't even let him buy a 3DTV set.

"I was only half joking and half serious. She would not be caught dead in these glasses," Luthra said. "I don't see a solution in the next five to six years. There are other problems that might get solved, like world hunger."

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Abundant_bits 12/5/2012 | 4:32:38 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

60 years later, and we're still wearing those damn ugly glasses for 3D...


Where's my flying car?! We should all have flying cars by now!


 


<img alt="" height="350" src="http://www.ps3blog.net/wp-content/uploads/1950s-3d-movies.jpg" width="350">

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:32:37 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

You know, Chechelashvili happened to mention that the glasses make good sunglasses. They've got a greenish tint (not the old red/blue look), so he might actually be right.


But Sarah's hit upon the problem: They're expensive. I'm sure even more expensive sunglasses exist, but for now, only a rarified few are going to be buying these things. (Gamers might, for one.)


I'd neglected to ask Chechelashvili about one thing.... I can't put the 3D glasses over my glasses. It's twice as annoying and three times as embarrassing. A full face-covering goggles, like you'd wear skiing, would do the trick but I don't know if such things are available (and they still might not be worth the annoyance).

Abundant_bits 12/5/2012 | 4:32:37 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

Perhaps all the designer sunglass producers should make all their specs 3D compliant-&nbsp; that would have interesting unintended consequences in RL

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:32:37 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

But how much will those stylish glasses set you back? I think (one of) the biggest problems is the price of the glasses. Most are still $75 to $100 today, so having a dozen out for your guests is an expensive proposition.

toastman 12/5/2012 | 4:32:35 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

It does once there is competition in the market and with the takeup of the circular polarization based&nbsp;systems at the moment it shouldn't be long untill competition creates a relationship between price and cost.


Then again maybe i'm just naive and all the 3d glasses manufacturers will collude to keep their profits up.

toastman 12/5/2012 | 4:32:35 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

It shouldn't cost significantly more to get the circularly polarizing films put on prescription glasses than normal films and since they don't affect your viewing of real life they can easily be used as sun glasses as well.


If anyone is really that worried about the look of the glasses then go down your local glasses shop and get them to put the lenses in to a frame of your choosing, problem solved.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:32:35 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

&nbsp;


Why do you think Price has anything to do with Cost?


&nbsp;


seven


&nbsp;

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:32:31 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

It would take a while for prices to go down, I'd think.&nbsp; The glasses are overpriced for now, and that's what people are used to... chances are, the second and even third vendors to offer them wouldn't undercut the price by a whole lot, because they wouldn't have to.


Eventually, it'll come down, but by then, the 3D fad might be over. (Count me as a 3D skeptic, btw; I agree w/Roger Ebert that it doesn't truly add to the experience. And everyone I talk to speculates 3D will be just awful for baseball.)

Abundant_bits 12/5/2012 | 4:32:30 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

Dunno if it's the same technology, but movie theatre 3D specs are like $5 or so.


&nbsp;


I'd agree all 3d, all the time, may not be fly, but there are certain events and movies that it will be neat to watch in 3D. With that said, prices will have to drop dramatically for a part time accessory.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:32:27 PM
re: 3D Glasses Head to Market

Let me give you two markets with competition where price/cost are not linked:


Routers (excluding home routers)


Luxury Cars


seven


&nbsp;

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