Will 3D Glasses Harm 3D TV Uptake? Mixed Views From Experts

Not long after a recent survey which cites 3D glasses as the main reason why the Japanese are wary to buy 3D TVs, compulsory eyewear has again come under attack from another market research analyst for potentially hindering 3D technology adoption.

DFI Intelligence, which specialises in historical analysis and trend forecasting in the gaming and multimedia industries, has openly published its scepticism over the need to wear special 3D glasses to play 3D games on 3D TVs. DFI Intelligence claimed that consumer interests in 3D TV would be dampened by reliance on 3D glasses, and went on to praise Nintendo for offering a glassless 3D gaming solution in the form of the Nintendo 3DS.

That said, DFI Intelligence thinks that the 3D capabilities — enabled via a recent firmware update — on the Sony PS3 (Playstation 3) may help to sell the game console over rival systems even if the buyers do not own a 3D TV yet. Put another way, although there is little practical need for “3D-readiness” due to lack of 3D display hardware and/or 3D content, users may decide to purchase the Sony PS3 simply for future-proofing.

Not every expert is critical of 3D glasses however. Stu Lipoff, an experienced consultant in the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Standards Committee, has singled out 3D content (instead of 3D glasses) as the one element that will make or break 3D TV uptake among home users, boldly declaring that: “Developing [glassless] autostereocopic technology [to be used at home] isn’t needed. Glasses aren’t a killer when it comes to 3D — if it’s worthwhile you will put them on.”

Mr Lipoff, who provides consultancy service through IEEE on how 3D technology can be delivered through existing hardware infrastructure, says that 3D TV sales will go up once consumers are convinced that there is sufficient 3D content of high quality readily available to them. He notes that the majority of 3D films released to date are over-stylised and gimmicky, but believes that eventually 3D filmmakers will learn to produce 3D movies which look natural a la Avatar 3D.