Toshiba held the modestly-named Toshiba World conference in Rome yesterday, and a company spokesman said that the electronics maker will ship its first glasses-free 3D TV within the next 12 months. According to,

A Toshiba spokesman confirmed: ‘Within the next 12 months, we’ll get 3D without glasses.’ The company also confirmed the set will be plus 40-inches.”

Toshiba showed off glasses-free 3D TV prototypes back at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Jan., but had none on display this week in Italy.

For my money, glasses are the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of 3D TV in the home. Current 3D sets are still noticeably more expensive than their 2D counterparts, but the price gap is already narrowing as production of 3D components has ramped up and the tech has started to trickle down into mid-range HDTVs. But who wants to wear special glasses to watch a movie or catch the game on their own couch?

I’ve watched demos of high-end 3D TV sets using active glasses from a few different manufacturers. I’ve spent some time recently watching some YouTube 3D and other Web-based 3D movies using a pair of cardboard blue and red lens glasses that came with a car magazine I subscribe to (as part of a cheesy advertisement). I’ve also checked out a few glasses-free 3D smartphones at recent press events, and the LG Thrill 4G (AT&T) and HTC EVO 3D (Sprint) will soon be bringing glasses-free 3D excitement to pockets all across America.

While I’m personally not convinced that 3D is the next revolution in personal entertainment, there’s certainly a lot of interest in the technology and at least a smattering of interesting content. Personally I could see getting into 3D sports mainly because they afford new vantage points that 2D broadcasts can’t offer. Watching some clips of football in 3D was cool because I could really see the offensive line in action, blocking and opening up holes for the running game; I’ve yet to see a 2D football broadcast that showed the battle in the trenches in such detail.

What about you? Are you already watching 3D TV in your house, glasses and all? Would you make the leap if specs weren’t required? Or could you care less about the third dimension when it comes to baseball games, action movies,and sitcoms?

[Via: T3]