Everywhere you look lately, the hype around 3D technology is easy to find. From film, television, and video games all the way down to Crest 3D White Toothpaste (formerly vivid white), people can’t seem to get enough of this buzzword. However, while the word may be everywhere, the technology is not.
The only place that 3D technology is consistently visible is the movie theatre. Since the release of James Cameron’s Avatar, Hollywood has been pumping out 3D and pseudo-3D movies to cash in on the hype. Sure, there have been some pretty good 3D movies, but I don’t think that the technology deserves the credit. The difference between a good movie and a bad movie does not come down to gimmicks.
Now that the movie screen has been supposedly conquered by 3D technology, attention has turned towards the small screen. 3D television is solid, if not spectacular. Objects don’t appear as if they are popping out of the screen, but the screen looks incredibly deep, as if you could reach right in. The added depth, in particular, enhances sports programming. Seeing a quarterback rocket a pass across the field looks much more realistic than regular television can achieve.
In the end, though, the glasses required to watch 3D television are its downfall. A 3D television generally comes with two pairs of glasses, and additional pairs usually cost 40-60 dollars. The glasses are usually battery-powered and require charging, and it is almost impossible to watch the TV without them. Overall, 3D television seems to be too much of a hassle to be worth the expense.
There is one application where 3D technology has received incredible praise: gaming. Of course, this does not apply to gaming on a computer or television screen (which has garnered its share of criticism), but on a handheld device. Nintendo’s upcoming glasses-free 3DS, the predecessor to the company’s incredibly successful DS line, has received positive reviews from almost all who have had the chance to experience the device.
While I’m not a person to resist technological change, the 3D shift seems to be coming too soon for me. The bottom line is that until I don’t need glasses to watch a 3D television, I don’t want one. I am very intrigued by the 3DS, but the rest of the 3D world just seems boring,
inconvenient, and overpriced.
I like to watch TV while I work on homework, clean, or do any other number of boring tasks. Adding glasses into the mix just makes it tougher for me to accomplish anything while the TV is on. When I’m sick and want to pass the time by watching SportsCenter, I don’t
want those glasses getting in the way.
3D technology has the potential to change the way we consume, create, and enjoy media. Digital art could become more immersive with the use of 3D displays, and gaming and
television could get a needed jumpstart.
In the end, though, 3D technology is too expensive, too cumbersome, and too awkward to replace the current standards with any ease. This whole push for 3D acceptance is reminiscent of Pioneer’s attempts to integrate Laserdisc technology into the home.
Eventually, DVD’s and optical media became the standard when the public was ready for them. While 3D technology may be ready for the public, the public is not ready to wear glasses just to catch their favorite sitcom.