Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: Toshiba Glasses-Free 3D

Heading in to CES, we already knew that 3D was going to be what everyone was going to be pushing.  But as we've said before, consumers don't want to deal with the glasses at home.  Why can't someone invent a 3D TV that doesn't require you to shell out $50 for an additional pair just so you can invite a buddy over to watch with you?  Well, Toshiba heard our cries, and last week at CES they brought us in to a viewing area to glimpse the future.  And that future is Toshiba's Glasses-Free 3D.

I've seen attempts at 3D without glasses, and it hasn't always been good. Usually you still get the dual picture effect, or you have to cross your eyes to try and see it.  (And really, that just can't be good.)  So we were very interested to see what Toshiba had developed.  

After being brought into a preview area we stood in front of their 56" screen.  I have to tell you, we were blown away.  We moved to different areas in front of the TV and each one was a sweet spot.  It did take a moment for my brain to realize that I wasn't wearing glasses.  To be honest, it was a little disconcerting at first. (And we hadn't even had cocktails yet.)  But once we were watching the images in front of us, we were mesmerized.  

These TV's do also allow you to watch programming in standard 2D.  This television can also convert regular 2D images and convert them into 3D.   

This is exactly what consumers have been waiting for, and could possibly begin to sway the 3D television market.  Currently there is no official release date, or price.  They will be offering a 60", 56", 20" and 12" version of the TV.  They are expecting to have them available by the end of the fiscal year.  So I would say to look for them hit stores around the holiday season of 2011, or when CES 2012 happens.   

Along with 3D televisions, Toshiba was also showing off their 3D laptop (which was a Best of CES 2011 finalist).  Working with the same idea of Glasses-Free 3D, their laptop took it to a different level.  The built-in webcam can track your eye movement.  By doing this, it adjusts the picture depending on where you are looking.  Very minority report.  Have you Kinect and hook it up to this lap top and really blow your friends minds.      

From what we saw at CES, Toshiba is the one to beat as far as 3D with out glasses.  Let's see if anyone else can improve their product and have it ready to compete.

For more information on the different 3D technology Toshiba is working on, please visit their online press room.

What say you?  Will this new technology make you look differently at buying a 3D TV?

POPped without 3D glasses
Jungle Jesse

Photo Credit: POParitaville/Rabbi Marauder

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