CEA calls for universal 3D glasses standard

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has called for a universal standard in 3D to be adopted, saying that the technology will not become widespread unless a universal set of 3D glasses is developed.

3D has become the next big thing, ever since Avatar revitalised the idea in 2009, and now we are seeing 3D everywhere, from the cinema and home TV to video games and even the odd porn flick. One of the biggest put-offs, however, is the glasses. Let’s face it, no one likes them and no one wants to have a drawer full of them because each brand has its own take on it.

The CEA hopes to address this problem by introducing a standard set of glasses. It is currently working towards this aim with the giants in the industry, such as Sony and Samsung, focused on creating a set of universal infrared active shutter glasses, which can be used for all 3D TVs.

“The feeling is that to make a real market then you need replacement glasses, you need third-party glasses,” said Brian Markwalter, vice-president of Research and Standards at CEA, in an interview with PCR

“What you want is a situation where you can take your active glasses from your house to somebody else’s and have them work. The feeling is that 3D is going to be event-driven, with sports games and stuff, so if you have six people over to watch something in 3D you don’t want to have to buy six pairs of $150 glasses.”

Markwalter is not wrong about the 3D’s future as event-driven. The BBC has pondered broadcasting parts of the 2012 Olympics in 3D and other major events are sure to follow. That is, of course, providing a large enough population actually has access to 3D. Or wants it.

The CEA’s first draft of the universal 3D standard should be available in November, aimed at allowing manufacturers to adopt it in time for 2011. Some companies may not be on board with the idea as it means that third-party companies can make cheaper 3D glasses than the big brand names, resulting in lost profits.

Perhaps an easier way to solve the problem is to simply build 3D TVs that don’t require glasses, like the ones Intel, Mitsubishi and TCL are working on.