L&T: Through My Lens

Mar
2011

Catch the 3D Express

Last month I attended my first ever Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Friends who had been to CES before tried to describe how vast and overwhelming it is, but I was still amazed when I arrived at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Upon entering one of the main exhibit halls, I joined an immense crowd that was slowly snaking its way through the aisles. I’m a New Yorker and am used to crowds, but this was even more packed than Grand Central Station during rush hour. It was wall to wall people, some talking to vendors, others just rubbernecking, gawking at the spectacle that surrounded us. On all sides were enormous booths representing every major consumer electronics company, all pulsing with video projections, sounds and lighting effects. While each was unique, the one element they had in common was 3D technology. From movies to TV, to games and laptops, hundreds of exhibitors featured some form of 3D technology, most requiring active or passive 3D eyewear. A number of optical companies debuted passive, non-Rx 3D eyewear at CES, and several vendors told me they are developing Rx-able versions.

Although 3D’s star is rising fast, some ECPs are hesitant to embrace it. Some are concerned there isn’t yet a universal standard for 3D, which means a single pair of 3D glasses can’t work for everything. Others point out that certain people are not able to process 3D images. And some worry about the advent of glasses-free 3D.

The fact is many 3D glasses can be worn for a variety of applications. And glasses-free technology that can deliver high quality images won’t be available for years. Meanwhile, millions of consumers are clamoring for 3D eyewear. They can either buy it from an electronics store, a non-optical online vendor or from an eyecare professional.

The 3D train is leaving the station, and ECPs and optical retailers should board it now.

—Andrew Karp
akarp@jobson.com

 

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