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How Soon Until We Don’t Need 3D Glasses To See 3D?

by Sean P. Aune | April 4, 2010

Although the first shipment of 3D television sold out from Best Buy in short order, the number one complaint you hear from people is that they want to know when they will be able to watch 3D without the need for glasses.  No one is particularly excited about the idea of having to wear them all the time when watching even shows like Two and a Half Men, and who can blame them considering extra pairs run around $150 each.

3d glassesSo, the question is, when can we expect to get the benefits of 3D without having to wear those blasted glasses.  Luckily the answer seems to be that it is already happening, but when it will be a price anyone can afford is the better question.

While everyone at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was focused on 3D technology, what didn’t get much coverage was that there was some television sets that there that didn’t require glasses.  It’s known as “auto-stereoscopic 3D”, and a company named TCL was showing off a display of 42-inch screens that used the technology.  While these were prototypes, and it seems they still have their drawbacks, it’s good to know that the technology is being actively worked on.

That of course raises the issue if we will be seeing a format in a few years.  Is this the next HD-DVD/Blu-ray war?  The next e-reader fight?  The current 3D has a large head start, and it depends on which technology all of these 3D channels that are launching go with.  What if ESPN’s channel works with one type, and the Discovery/Sony channel that is coming goes with another?  We could end up with another ugly format war if this isn’t done correctly, and no one really wins when one of those happens.

I think this technology is still a few years out from showing up on our store shelves, but it’s good to know it’s at least being worked on.  I really have no interest in having 3D in my life period, but even less so when you add in those stupid glasses.

What say you?  Are you excited for 3D without the glasses?  Will you wait for it, or are you even going to bother with the technology at all?


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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