3D TV may be the wave of the future, but the technology
definitely has some hurdles to overcome first. For one, the cost
of the 3D glasses that are typically sold separately from the television add a
chunk of change to the overall price of 3D entertainment. To make matters
worse, most of the glasses available today are only compatible with their
respective TVs, so Panasonic's glasses work with Panasonic TVs, Samsung glasses
with Samsung TVs, etc.
Considering 3D glasses typically cost around $150 per pair,
the price deters people from buying many additional pairs to share with friends.
For this reason, many executives believe a "bring your own glasses"
model may be the norm. That is, assuming you and your friends all own
compatible glasses/TVs. There's a good chance the glasses will eventually
become standardized, but in the meantime, manufacturers are shipping with proprietary
TVs and glasses.
However, there is a promising solution that could arrive as
early as this summer: Xpand's Chief Strategy Officer Ami Dror said his company
is working on universal active shutter glasses that will be able to adapt to just
about every TV on the market.
According to Dror, the company's X101 glasses are used in
most 3D cinemas outside of the U.S. These glasses work with projectors that
cycle at 144 frames per second using a triple flash technology. The company
recently announced a deal with Mitsubishi to use its X102 glasses. The X102
glasses use DLP Link technology which puts a tiny flash of white light into a
black interstitial frame to control the shutters on the glasses.
Xpand's next series of glasses, the X103, will be universal
active shutter glasses which will search for infrared signals. These glasses
will be able to interpret signals from major manufacturers such as Panasonic,
LG, Samsung, and Sony as well as the signals used in Nvidia 3D Vision glasses.
Xpand describes the technology behind the X103 glasses:
Stereoscopic 3D works
by separating images into right- and left-eye versions. The right- and left-eye
images are shown on a 3D enabled screen separately, one eye at a time. The X103
works with time sequential methods and uses Pi-Cell lenses that blocks each eye
very rapidly, alternating left and right in sync with the image being shown on
the 3D ready screen, which creates the 3D image in your brain.
The X103 glasses will have replaceable batteries that Xpand
claims will last for approximately 250 hours of active 3D usage. To help
conserve battery power, the glasses have an Auto On/Off feature.
Dror expects these universal active shutter glasses will be
in stores by June. They will come in 12 colors in both adult and kid's sizes. Although
final pricing isn't set, Dror said the glasses will likely cost between $125