There’s no doubt that 3D is en vogue at the moment, but it's still unsure whether consumers are willing to invest in the hardware required or not.
There’s also the problem of buying into a standard which requires specific types of 3D-spex for the technology to work. However, there’s light on the horizon, as several companies were showing off 3D displays that don't require glasses at Display Taiwan.
First up we have 3M, which was displaying a rather small display with 800 x 480 resolution. It uses what 3M calls Autostereoscopic 3D - a similar system to parallax barrier technology. The problem with parallax barrier technology, though, is that the picture quality isn’t that great and you only get half the resolution of what the display can deliver.
3M’s Autostereoscopic 3D offers the full screen resolution, and the picture quality is a lot better thanks to a special layer of film the manufacturer has developed specifically.
However, the technology is limited to handheld devices, such as mobile phones and handheld games consoles. That said, the demo screen is very crisp and has a better-than-average viewing angle for a 3D display.
AU Optronics was showing off a 65in screen that similarly doesn’t require 3D glasses, but also doesn’t look too great, as you can clearly see lines in the picture. This is most likely a parallax barrier screen, but we didn’t manage to get any details on the type of technology used. On the other hand, AU Optronics was showing off a model with polarized glasses that looked rather good.
We also had a chat to Chunghwa Picture Tubes, CPT, which was showing off a new technology called 2-view LC lens. CPT believes that this is the future of 3D displays and although we have to apologise about the picture we snapped of this screen, the technology itself is rather impressive.
This technology is similar to Autostereoscopic 3D, but offers better picture quality and is meant to work on larger displays. Rather than blocking out light, like the previous two technologies, 2-view LC lens technology transmits luminescence, allowing for a brighter overall image. CPT said that this is the technology that LG Electronics believes will be the winner in the 3D display war, long term.
Judging by these examples, it appears that 3D displays are here to stay, but it’s a long time until a winner will appear.
However, one thing is certain, the requirement to wear glasses to watch movies in 3D isn’t going to stick around for too long. Although, if you’re getting a 3D TV now, we’d suggest to get one with active shutter glasses, because, currently, it’s the best technology out there.