I have never been a fan of shutter glasses for 3D viewing, despite improvements in speed and weight over the years. And though impressed by the no-glasses three-dimensional technology that's been commercially deployed by Sharp in notebook computers, there's something not quite right about it, if you move your head and catch a different set of images. So the announcement last week of a 3-D LCD screen using polarized glasses for viewing -- the same kind they use in the 3-D movies -- is very good news. (See 3-D in high-def on small screen.)
Cinematically, 3-D is making a comeback. Recent successful 3-D theatrical releases that come to mind include The Polar Express and Chicken Little. The combination of computer graphics and animation that makes rendering a 3-D output easier, with DLP theatrical digital projector technology, is transporting the long-dormant 1950s 3-D film technology into the 21st century. (Even Alfred Hitchcock made a 3-D film in its heyday, Dial M For Murder.)
My daughter has a Barbie DVD, The Magic of Pegasus, which comes with the simpler red-blue 3-D glasses that can work with any TV. She loves it.
The market for 3-D screen technology is huge, even if adults don't sit around in the evening watching prime time sitcoms, dramas, and sports in 3-D. The kids market alone is tremendous, but of course, very price sensitive, so no doubt such higher margin applications as medical imaging, scientific research, and military surveillance will be the first beneficiaries.
But the good news is that, when this 3-D LCD technology gets priced low enough for home entertainment and portable media players, there is an audience of millions of people who have already demonstrated a willingness to wear the lightweight polarized glasses, and even spend upwards of five dollars extra to see a movie in 3-D. There's an audience for 3-D, and they're hungry for more.