Is 3D technology in the home just a passing fad or the way of the future?
3D televisions have permeated the mainstream. While it will be another year until the penetration numbers are high enough to justify a huge push in the home 3D market, the trend is obvious. Not only are 3D TVs going to become mainstream, but 3D computer monitors and 3D laptops are also being introduced daily. It is expected that 3D TVs will be the big seller during the holidays this year.
(In 2009, I wrote two columns on 3D technology, and what it could mean to the Web. In the first column, I looked at how 3D photography and video could help bring a tactile feel to your products and services. In the second column, I interviewed one of the companies leading the charge in the commercial broadcast world.)
So, it's time we return to 3D technologies, now that it's not as bleeding edge as it was when we first discussed it here. The broadcast industry clearly sees sports and video games as major conduits to get users to adopt 3D in their homes. No one, however, is talking about the uses of 3D on the Internet.
In the first column I wrote, I had published a 3D photo of merchandise. If you take a look at it, you can practically reach out and touch it. For companies struggling to sell products people would rather touch and hold in a store, this technology might be able to save the day. The same way virtual 3D models of products aim to show the customer the dimensions and volume of a product, 3D photos do so in a much more life-like way.
One of the traditional problems with 3D as we used to know it was that the anaglyph method of 3D (red/cyan glasses) screws up the color of the photo. While it would be great to see a 3D video of a flowing red dress careening down the runway at your favorite fashion show, who would buy it when it looks grey or black because of the anaglyph process? Luckily, the 3D TVs and laptops all use either active shutter glasses or passive polarized glasses instead of the anaglyph method. This means colors are represented correctly, as they are in movie theatres.
The technology has finally caught up to the point where home users can view full 3D in realistic color, and at relatively little cost. But, where is the content? Hollywood is struggling to produce enough 3D content to justify the purchase of a 3D TV. Meanwhile, the Internet hasn't really caught on to this trend. Luxury brands would be the perfect candidates for this. The first luxury brand to publish a 3D movie of their fashion show will be seen as a thought-leader in the industry.
What do you think? Fad? Future? A new way for customers to get closer to your products? Leave your comments below.
Until next time…
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