Big news from Panasonic, Samsung and Sony: they're teaming-up to put a stop to this silly trend of being forced into buying expensive 3D glasses that only work with one manufacturer's 3DTV, and will use Xpand's glasses from next year.
While it's possible this attempt at standardizing the market will just prove xkcd's comic correct once again, the fact that three of the biggest names are throwing their weight behind the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative is actually looking good for us consumers.
In case you were wondering, this is for the 3D active shutter glasses, and will work by using Xpand's glasses technology as the standard for not just TVs, but computers and projectors also. You can actually already buy universal 3D glasses from Xpand for $129 each, but presumably the manufacturers will be adding a new IR receiver to their sets to make them compatible, though their website does say they support all of the major manufacturers' 3D already.
Development of the glasses under this initiative will only begin this September, so don't expect to see them on the market until next year—but at least they'll be backwards-compatible with all of Sony, Samsung and Panasonic's active shutter 3DTVs from 2011.
August 8, 2011- Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sony Corporation and X6D Limited (XPAND 3D) today announced their intent to collaborate on the development of a new technology standard forconsumer 3D active glasses, under the name, "Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative."
With this new agreement, the companies intend to work together on the development and licensing of radio frequency (RF) system 3D active glasses technology, including RF system protocols between consumer 3D active glasses and 3D displays such as televisions, personal computers, projectors and 3D theaters with XPAND active shutter glasses.
The standardization will also include multiple types of infrared (IR) system protocols between 3D active glasses and 3D displays, ranging from the protocols jointly developed by Panasonic and XPAND 3D*, to the proprietary protocols of Samsung and Sony, respectively.
The license of today's newly announced Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative is targeted to be released in September 2011, at which time the development of new standardization-applied active 3D glasses will begin. Universal glasses with the new IR/RF protocols will be made available in 2012, and are targeted to be backward compatible with 2011 3D active TVs.
Through this initiative, the four companies aim to widely introduce universal active 3D glasses to the market.
Today's announcement marks a unique collaboration of the world's leading 3D TV manufacturers and 3D technology providers for the benefit of consumers. Glasses utilizing 3D active technology benefits consumers in that they enable Full HD 3D picture quality to be displayed to each eye, as well as a greater freedom of movement thanks toBluetooth® technology.
"Panasonic has been working to standardize 3D glasses technologies, and in March, we announced a joint licensing of IR system protocols with XPAND, backed by several participant companies. We are very pleased that today's latest collaboration will incorporate our previous concept into these new standardization efforts," said Masayuki Kozuka, general manager of Media & Content Alliance Office, Corporate R&D Division, Panasonic Corporation. "We hope the expanded collaboration on this 3D standardization initiative will make a significant contribution toward accelerating the growth of 3D-related products."
"Today's announced collaboration underscores Samsung's promise to meet consumer needs among the ever-changing advancements of home entertainment and consumer electronics technology," said Jurack Chae, vice president, R&D Team, Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics. "To-date, active 3D technology has proven to be the most popular choice for consumers in the 3D TV market. According to the NPD Group, Active 3D technology tookan average of 96 percent share of the U.S. 3D TV market in the first half of this year; and this Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative will help further drive consumer adoption and understanding of active 3D-the technology that provides the clearest and most immersive 3D experience available."
"Through this alliance, we all look forward to addressing critical industry issues to enable a better consumer experience across products. We believe active 3D technology is the most suitable method to deliver full 1080p picture quality to each eye, giving consumers the 3D experience they most desire," said Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager, Home Entertainment Development Div., Sony Corporation.
"We are delighted to contribute our efforts and technologies to the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative for both RF and IR technology that we announced today with Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. This initiative reinforces the consumer electronics industry's commitment to highest 3D quality and provides technology consumers and theater-goers with a simple but powerful solution to the challenge of interoperability," said Maria Costeira, XPAND 3D's CEO.
The Bluetooth SIG supports the industry's move to standardize on Bluetooth technology in 3D glasses.
"These market leaders are coming together to make the 3D experience better for the consumer. It makes perfect sense that Bluetooth technology would be a vital component of that solution, both for its mass market ubiquity and the freedom and convenience it provides," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG. "And while today's news is exciting, this is just the beginning-Bluetooth technology in the living room makes sense in 3D glasses, stereo surround systems, remote controls, and ultimately the hub of the living room-the TV."
*The protocols jointly developed by Panasonic and XPAND: They were announced in March 2011 and supported by eight participant companies: Changhong Electric Co., Ltd., FUNAI Electric Co., Ltd., Hisense Electric Co., Ltd., Hitachi Consumer Electronics Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Seiko Epson Corporation, SIM2 Multimedia S.p.A. and ViewSonic Corporation.
About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple connectivity for a broad range of electronic devices. Version 4.0 featuring Bluetooth low energy technology creates new application opportunities for products within the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & wellness, sports & fitness and smart home industries. With nearly two billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth technology is the only proven wireless solution for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers more than 14,500 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guideBluetooth wireless technology. For more information please visit www.bluetooth.com. Bluetooth wireless technology: Simple. Secure. Everywhere.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2010 consolidated sales of US$135.8 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company consists of nine independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, semiconductor chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visitwww.samsung.com.
About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $87 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/.
The global leader in the 3D technologies for home, business, education, cinema, military and medical applications, XPAND 3D is committed to advancing the state-of-the art in technology to provide consumers, businesses, educators and medical professionals with the comprehensive advantages of stereoscopic 3D. XPAND 3D provides glasses on a linear scale from the most advanced and feature-packed for sophisticated surgical, training and home theater to more ruggedized and affordable for cinema and mass market use. X6D Limited is a global company whose products and services are marketed under the XPAND brand name. XPAND 3D technology is used by over 4,500 3D cinemas in more than 50 countries and is the 3D solution of choice for post-production houses, educational and professional 3D applications. XPAND designs, manufactures and OEMs a range of consumer electronics 3D solutions that are driving the 3D revolution.