XpanD is also planning to release “universal” 3D glasses this summer. Due to differences between brands, Samsung glasses won’t work with a Sony 3DTV, etc. XpanD’s solution is to provide “smart” sensing technology, which identifies the brand type by the makeup of the infrared 3D synchronization carrier.
The glasses (which are rechargeable via mini-USB connection) also don’t have a power button. Instead, they “wake up” every few seconds and look to see if there’s a sync IR carrier coming from the 3DTV. If a carrier is detected, then the glasses scan the data stream and match up with the right protocol and lock onto the carrier. All of this happens in an instant, and if the IR carrier goes away (indicating the set is either off, or in 2D mode), the glasses go back into sleep mode automatically. Battery life is claimed at an astonishing 300 hours (which is six times that of typical disc battery powered models, and ten times that of other rechargeable types).
In the case of Panasonic’s plasma 3D sets, their glasses have, in addition to the active LCD shutter, a color filter that aims to remove some of the bluishness that’s a byproduct of their approach to 3D. Mr. Dror said that the XpanD universal specs should provide a “99%” compatibility with the Panasonic sets, and other brands as well.
They’re reasonably priced, with an SRP of $129.99 (which compares very well against Samsung’s forthcoming rechargeable glasses, which are priced at $199.99). We’ve already asked for a test pair for review.
3D, or “Real” 3D?
Dreamworks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg is most decidedly a 3D evangelist. Appearing at January’s CES show in Las Vegas at the Samsung press conference, he also appeared at the recent National Association of Broadcaster’s convention to preach the 3D gospel.
His firm’s “Monsters vs Aliens” in 3D is the first of the “real” 3D Blu-ray titles to actually become available, and is the disc included with Samsung’s 3D starter kit (which also includes two pairs of 3D glasses). The disc hasn’t yet been released for general sales just yet, though.
What will be interesting to see is how Dreamworks Animation (and other studios) will explain to consumers that there are now two types of 3D Blu-ray discs – old-style anaglyphic for use with the cheap blue/red 3D specs, and the new high quality discs that are compatible with the latest 3D Blu-ray players and 3DTVs. While early adopters will probably figure this out, as 3D grows in popularity, there’s a good chance of consumer confusion further down the line.