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Three Reasons 3D Will Fail

Posted by Kyle Diedrick

3D display technology has been around for quite a while. In fact it’s origins trace back to the very beginnings of still photography, just before the turn of the 20th century. Even after over 100 years of technological breakthrough 3D display is still not ready to be introduced to the home. A combination of a lack of unified standard technology, the fact that you still have to wear glasses to see the effect, combined with the lack of good quality 3D content clearly show that not only is the technology not ready for market, neither consumers nor producers have any serious interest in it.

Unfortunately the lack of standardization in the market is the least visible to every day consumers. The fact that each TV manufacturer produces their glasses to work exclusively with their 3D technology is downright absurd. Shortly after the fiasco between blu-ray and HD-DVD, which demonstrated that battling over standards only devastates sale and consumer interest, we now have multiple manufacturers preparing to battle each other with their own unique technology. I believe this will just lead us to people publicly discrediting 3D technology as a whole, and will drive potential clients from the market.

Possibly the most visible limitation to the technology is the need for special glasses to view the effect. The idea of a hologram is still somewhere in our future, but it would make for the ultimate in 3D technology. Glasses are uncomfortable, limit the number of users in home, and are expensive. Most 3D glasses right now run at a minimum of 250 USD. That means if you want to have four sets of glasses you would have to spend at least 1000USD above the cost of the TV. Not to mention if you want to have extra sets for guests, which means you have to guess at how many people at a time you would invite over to watch a movie.

The last point is probably the one that bothers me the most. If there were more movies (or video games!) that were 3D, I could overlook its shortcomings and see where it would have a place in the consumer market. Currently, very few movies have been produced in 3D and I have not seen a single major gaming title released. Another major problem I have with current 3D content is that it attempts to “wow” the consumer by throwing the effect in your face. While this was cool when the technology was starting to be introduced in modern theatres, it’s not anymore. This draws away from the movie itself and I feel like breaks the illusion of what is going on in the film. I would really like to see some good games be introduced with 3D capability, I think that could add a whole lot of fun and interest to a wide variety of games.

I will admit that the idea of in-home 3D is still new, but the current technology still prevents it from being a truly plausible consumer product. The thing that particularly makes me think this technology is headed for the dirt is the inability of manufacturers to decide on a standard. The only other thing standing in the way of 3D technology is the need to wear the glasses. Eliminate the need for glasses and settle on a standard, and 3D content will dominate the market. Until these two things (or at least the latter) happen, 3D content and displays will continue to stumble through the consumer market.

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2 CommentsPosted June 4th, 2010Kyle Diedrick

2 responses to “Three Reasons 3D Will Fail”

  1. The post is good but pop over here and take a look at the Nintendo release.

  2. Yeah the 3DS is a great implementation of 3D. However, the technology has a long way to go before it would work well for TVs. In particular it requires you to be at a very specific position for the feature to work. Maybe eventually 3D will work, but for the time being I believe it is very impractical.

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