3D blockbuster films are big business right now, but few would make the same argument for home Bluray viewing or broadcast TV. There are a handful of movies available in 3D, but the market has yet to see mass adoption of the technology. Nevertheless, Sony and other manufacturers are producing 3D products and hoping people will buy into them. Up until now, those products required 3D glasses. Samsung aims to change that.
At FPD China 2011, Samsung unveiled a prototype 55-inch 3D TV that does not require glasses to view. That means you can invite your friends over to watch a movie and not have to append “BYOG (Bring Your Own Glasses)” – not that anyone actually says that.
The prototype demonstrated nine viewpoints and an optimal viewing distance of 2.5 to 6 meters. Presumably, the 3D eye trick will not work for the guy in the back of the room, but it should present reasonably-place stationary viewers with a desirable 3D experience.
Viewers also have the option of switching between 2D and 3D on the LCD TV which consists of two LCD panels, one in front of the other. The back panel displays the normal images, while the front panel has a switchable optical refraction index to shift between 2D and 3D.
When released, the new TV will not be the first glasses-free 3D device. The Nintendo 3DS has managed to achieve a similar effect for 3D handheld gaming.
Before you pull out your credit card, Samsung is calling this device “just a prototype” and has not announced any release date or even a fixed timeline for completion. It is looking at about 3 years of development before we see a mass-market product, at which time anyone who bought 3D glasses will look very awkward.