Overall the Consumer Electronic Show of 2010, while amazing and overwhelming and definitely worth my time, has been a disappointment when it comes to innovation. The big things of the show have been 3D, new consumer video devices, and, well, that’s about it. So I’m at a bit of a conundrum as to who or what my favorite technology at the show is. If I were to pick one though, it would have to be the demo by TCL (The Creative Life) of their 3D TV Technology that doesn’t require glasses.
Passing by the booth you can’t miss it – they’ve surrounded 4 TVs by mirrors (no relation to the technology), and when you look at the TVs, you do a double-take. You’re seeing 3D, just as you would in traditional 3D glasses, but without the glasses! I never knew this was possible!
The technology revolves around basically mimicking the 3D glasses technology right on the TV screen itself. That, and an optical illusion of just the right flicker with the speed your eyes process information, and they’re tricking your brain to thinking there’s full 3D objects inside those monitors!
I saw a lot of 3D technology at CES. Some are special 3D TVs that you have to buy the TV to get the full 3D experience, but they require glasses. Others are adapters you hook up to your Sony PS3 and you can play games in 3D (due EOY 2010 Sony told me – I’m actually excited for that one and may buy a PS3 because of it). I talked to a guy in the elevator at my hotel that works with devices you put right up to your eyes like glasses to get the experience.
However, no one wants to buy a new TV right now. I just can’t see consumers buying a TV just so they can put on glasses and watch TV through those glasses. These new 3D TVs without the glasses enable you to do that, no glasses required, and I think they make much more sense.
While the TVs aren’t available for probably at least another year, there are still a few issues though. For one, you can only watch 3D on the TVs. They’ve either got to make a dual mode so you can watch either/or, or consumers will have to get used to watching nothing but 3D television, something not everyone in the industry is sure consumers will want. Also, the videos they were showing had to be custom-made for the TVs. They don’t yet work with traditional 3D movies and I think that will be required.
What I liked about this technology though is that they were showing what could be. They’re thinking to the future. That’s what I wanted to see at CES this year. Everyone else is looking to the present and past from what I’ve seen so far. Kudos to TCL for making me think forward this CES.
Here’s some video I shot – of course you can’t see the 3D in the video, but at least it gives you an idea. You can follow all my raw, unedited footage on my personal Youtube channel.