Long ago, when red and blue (or green) glasses were the only way people could watch a movie in 3D, it appeared and faded quickly. It’s fading was probably expected, how long could someone stand watching a movie with only red or blue. Not to mention the headaches it could cause. Polarized glasses were around in the 50′s, but it was expensive to print and film. For a while 3D was out of the picture, then suddenly it made a resurgence. We can blame the hype of Avatar and it’s record breaking sales for the sudden onslaught of 3D films. Technology was now at the point that making a film 3D wasn’t that expensive, and in some cases, drew more ticket sales. The rise of digital downloads and streaming movies have made it tougher and tougher for theaters to get us off the couch and into a theater seat. 3D, was the answer according to the industry. They needed something that you couldn’t get at home and 3D was that something.
But now, as technology continues to advance faster and faster, we have cellphones with 3D screens. But is it here to stay? Will this technology continue to advance, or will companies lose interest just as the public continues to lose interest in 3D movies? I have found me and my group of friends actively avoiding some movies in 3D, and only seeing them in their 2D versions. We avoid the 3D movies because the glasses are annoying, sometimes they aren’t created equal and don’t work properly, or one of our friends gets massive headaches from the effect. The answer to this problem, that many other movie goers have, is glasses free 3D. The Nintendo 3DS, one of the first big guns to introduce their own glasses free 3D screens, has a 3D effect you can turn off or even make more intense.
But there is a problem… The 3D effect only works in one spot. If you are on a bus and the ride is a bit bumpy, the 3D effect will blur constantly as you struggle to keep it in it’s place. The HTC Evo 3D has this same problem, as does the glasses free 3D HDTV’s. 3D’s only chance to survive is glasses free multiple angle viewing. Glasses are the annoyance, and the 3D sweet spots are the obstacle. If companies manage to make 3D screens, movies and handhelds that can have a 3D effect no matter where you view them from, with as many people as you want, you can expect 3D to stay for good. But if they don’t advance fast enough, we may see a second fading in 3D technology. The evidence is in Nintendo’s sales. Even after the 3DS’ price cut, the DSi continues to outsell it’s younger sibling, and sales of the 3DS continue to flat line. This doesn’t seem to hold true for cellphones though.
Ever since HTC introduced their glasses free 3D phone the EVO 3D, their sales have done great this year. People have bought up HTC’s 3D phones that came with a built in 3D camera and an Android OS. Will these sales continue? Will we see more Cellphones offering 3D tech? Only time will truly tell, but I already made my guess. My guess on the fate of 3D depends on one thing, the success of glasses free 3D. if they manage to make a screen that anyone can view from any angle, with no interruptions no matter how bumpy a bus ride, 3D will continue to be an option, or even a must have, with time. If multiple view angles doesn’t appear within five years, 3D will probably fade away and be added to the many lists of fads we have seen come and go.