3D has grown phenomenally since Avatar’s release in 2009 and if what we’ve seen from the Consumer Electronics Show is anything to go by 2011 will be another big year for 3D.
Freescale Semiconductor announced a partnership with RealD to develop new active 3D glasses technology that uses over-the-air synchronisation and advanced lens switching and filtering to overcome problems and high costs involved with standard infrared systems.
RealD is also attempting to develop 3D eyewear technology that can work universally for a multitude of TV systems, addressing a major flaw that has affected the 3D TV industry throughout 2010.
RealD developed a multi-protocol ASIC that allows 3D glasses to work via infrared or radio frequency (RF), including Bluetooth and RF4CE, the protocol being employed by Freescale. This will incorporate a programmable front end that can sync with a wide variety of branded 3D TVs, cutting out the need to by specialised proprietary glasses for each specific brand.
RealD said it is working closely with Freescale and Broadcom to bring in RF connectivity support and expects the new system to go into production in the second quarter, with developer kits being made available in the first quarter.
Xpand announced new high-definition 3D glasses of its own called Youinversal, which it claims are customised to the individual user and the environment they’re in. They make use of smartphone app, available initially for the iPhone and Android, which allows users to customise and optimise the glasses for their own eyes and the room they’re in. They’re expected to be available in April.
Rightware Oy announced Kanzi UI Solution, a 3D user interface technology that is is opening up for licensing. The product includes Kanzi Studio and Kanzi Engine, software that allow companies to design a user interface for their 3D content and systems.
DTS showed off a multi-platform 3D entertainment system that uses FiOS TV, the DTS Neo:X 11.1 surround sound system, an industry first, and a number of other platforms, including the Freebox from Lenovo and Free, Fujisu PCs, flat panel TVs from Skyworth, and mobile phones from Huawei and LG. DTS is promising that seeing and hearing 3D will never be the same again.
Of course, you’ll need a new 3D TV for all of this 3D goodness, so Toshiba unveiled its 2011 lineup of high-definition 3Ds, led by a number of 3D models. Its 3D range will include the TL515 Series and UL610 Series.
The TL515 Series features full 1080p high-definition, LED panels with local dimming, 240Hz ClearScan technology and NetTV with Yahoo Widgets and built-in Wi-Fi. They’ll also make use of passive 3D glasses which don’t require power to operate. Sizes will include 32-inches, 42-inches, 47-inches, 55-inches and 65-inches, measuring diagonally. They’re expected to be available in March for a reasonable price, but exactly what that is was not revealed.
The UL610 Cinema Series is aimed at the higher end of the market, featuring full 1080p high-definition, a Quantum Black Panel with Fine Local Dimming, 480Hz ClearScan, NetTV with Yahoo Widgets, built-in Wi-Fi, Dynamic 3D, and a built-in sub-woofer. They also tout a Metal Blade design with an Illusion stand. Sizes will include 46-iunches, 55-inches and 65-inches, based on diagonal measurements. They’ll be available in April, most likely for a pretty penny.
Toshiba is also planning a number of non-3D TVs for 2011, including five LED-backlit series and three CCFL-backlit series, many of which will come with smart TV features. The company is also planning a glasses-free 3D TV for later in 2011, but it’s keeping the details on that tightly sealed.