XpanD Glasses
From the realm of “too little, probably too late,” comes the news today that four electronics companies are teaming up to come up with a standardized version of 3D for home viewing to alleviate some of the confusion in the marketplace.  Cue the screams of those who have already bought 3D televisions.

Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and XPAND 3D jointly announced today that they are working on the “Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative.” The concept is simple enough in that all of the companies agree that each of them having their own 3D technology doesn’t make sense as it makes it difficult on both the consumers and the retailers to know what goes with what, and it also makes it a strain to decide which to support.  The new initiative calls for all four companies to work together to develop and license a radio frequency (RF) system 3D technology that will see one system used between televisions, personal computers, projector and 3D theaters.  It will also include multiple of infrared (IR) protocols so that it should work across a multitude of different devices and scenarios.

While the plan is expected to kick into full-swing in Sept. of this year, and on sale to consumers in 2012.  The good news is that the plan also calls for the technology to be backward compatible with 3D active display TVs sold in 2011.  The bad news is that both LG and Vizio are missing currently from the consortium meaning that this may turn out to not truly be a universal solution.

“Through this alliance, we all look forward to addressing critical industry issues to enable a better consumer experience across products. We believe active 3D technology is the most suitable method to deliver full 1080p picture quality to each eye, giving consumers the 3D experience they most desire,” said Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager, Home Entertainment Development Div., Sony Corporation.

While the idea of an at least somewhat universal 3D solution is a good one, that isn’t all that is holding people back from purchasing these for their homes.  We just went through the HDTV revolution, and while that still hasn’t reached full market penetration, companies are expecting us to switch televisions again already.  Add in the high cost of the glases, which has nothing to do with competing technologies, and it has just been a very tantalizing proposition to say the least.  Perhaps the price could come down some once this is released as it may push the tipping point of volume to where the cost threshold lowers, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for that to happen.

What do you think about the idea of all the companies sharing the same 3D technology?