Business, Entertainment

Standardization May Be Ahead for 3D Glasses – Or Not


One pair suits all – that?s the plan put forth by three major 3DTV manufacturers. Partnering with Xpand 3D, already a 3D glasses maker, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, and Sony are developing specifications for 3D active-shutter glasses. The finished product will be based on Bluetooth wireless technology, instead of infrared (IR).

However, standardization may not be a slam dunk. A rivalry looks to be brewing between the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative and the Consumer Electronics Association which plans to bring out their own specifications this Fall. The competition between the two factions may bring prices down, but should add to the confusion about 3D glasses technology. It remains to be seen if either approach will bridge the reluctance of consumers to don any form of eyewear to enjoy a good flick or to challenge friends to a video game.

LG Electronics is not part of the Initiative of fellow 3DTV manufacturers. LG leans towards passive displays, as the company recently introduced its own passive "CINEMA 3D" technology (and their own active panels really aren’t that good). The Initiative folks are leaning towards active displays

Xpand to expand their product line to meet specifications being developed by major 3DTV manufacturers
 Xpand to expand their product line to meet specifications being developed by major 3DTV manufacturers

 Xpand already has marketed their battery powered, Universal 3D Glasses to over 4,500 movie theaters worldwide. They say those same glasses can also be used at home for games and watching many 3DTV?s, including LG?s IR models, Sharp, Phillips and Toshiba. The Xpand website lists other compatible devices.

The already existing Universal 3D Glasses use active shutter technology, IR synchronization, and LCD lens. The glasses operate on a 100 hour battery–that?s time for 40 two-and-a-half-hour films – and weigh a comfortable 1.9 ounces. The upcoming new model will conform to the as yet unannounced Initiative?s specs.

Xpand3D uses humor to sell its product

Xpand has a humorous video expounding on the merits of its current product. If you are gathering at a friend?s house to watch a 3D sports event, they say "BYOG" – that?s right, Bring Your Own Glasses – 3D that is, instead of BYOB, Bring Your Own Brew. However, you might want to share the popcorn.