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Major 3D industry companies look to standardize glasses

By dpreview staff on Aug 8, 2011 at 23:45 GMT

Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and 3D technology company X6D have announced they will devise a standard for 3D glasses. The 'Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative' will develop and license Bluetooth radio frequency (RF) communication protocols as well as standardizing the various infrared (IR) systems that have been individually developed. Glasses incorporating the standards will be available in 2012 and should be compatible with 2011 TVs. Although the move is primarily movie-related, the standardization is likely to offer some confidence for shooters of 3D material worrying which viewing system to invest in.

Press Release:


Four Companies Will Seek Development of Joint Licensing on
'BLUETOOTH® ENABLED RF' and 'IR' Consumer 3D Active Glasses

August 8, 2011Panasonic 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 for consumer 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 to Bluetooth® 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 took an 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.


Total comments: 25
By keysmith (Aug 10, 2011)

Passive 3D technology is the future (like LG now uses)... You dont need expensive active classes. The only benefit of active glasses is that you can project 3D pictures on simple traditional display (lcd, led) technology (it only needs to have high frame rate).
Passive technology utilizes special polarised displays which might be more expensive to manufacture.

By mpgxsvcd (Aug 10, 2011)

Full HD means that each eye sees half of the possible resolution. I will wait till double full HD(or True HD) is ready. I couldn't care less about 3D. I just want 1080i to die!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Aug 10, 2011)

If full HD means each eye sees half of the possible resolution, then huma vision is interlaced. So if you urge death upon 1080i, you must want to go blind. Anyway, your idea of "double HD" might mean an iMAX set or something, with horse-choking bitrates, which you won't want to buy anyway.

By pagenine (Aug 10, 2011)

I love 3D! Of course the future is glasses free, but for now the glasses work great. FU to all that want to put off the enjoyment the rest of us get from current 3D technology, just because it doesn't appeal to you. You have to walk before you can crawl, but crawling is better than not moving at all.

By Dan4321 (Aug 9, 2011)

Too little, too late; as far as home theater, it was over for 3D a year ago. The newer methods do not require glasses, and even so, practical uses are limited. It's a solution in search of a problem, may see some limited use in gaming and computer control but for general use, the world has already moved on.

By ianimal (Aug 9, 2011)

3D is a hype. When I can choose I buy movies in 2D, and lucky the most of them are in only 2D. Never say never, but 3D has a long way to walk before it is regular and a standard. I hope the "major 3D industry companies" has asked the people what they want? Or just yet another feature to sell even more new stuff? I can see a great movie from before 1950 or something, and it is great because og the history, acting and music maybe. A 3D movie alone is nothing, just a hype. A good movie I believe still could be good also in 3D, but fare from sure we need it. Well, many years until I gone look for a 3D tv, and hope 3D then is dead or has got to a real standard.

By f_stops (Aug 9, 2011)

The only good thing about 3D is that I know what movies to avoid . . . .

By karlchwe (Aug 9, 2011)

One could wish they had standardized glasses before they started selling the sets.

It is interesting to see the various forces acting towards and against standards. In fact, one might see analogies to biological evolution. There are reasons why animals "standardized" to four limbs, though it wasn't a rapid process.

Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Aug 9, 2011)

What might these standardized 3D glasses cost apiece? >$100? Will they resist accidental drops, washing, or getting sat upon in a sofa? Will there be any more interesting 3D content than kiddy animations or redundant fights, chases, gory special effects, and fantasy acrobatic scenes?

People regularly pay over $100 for prescription eyeglases and wear them all the time. However, to pay an additional $500 for four pairs, simply to see pop-out 3D or get dizzy, may not appeal to all.

Existing "lasses-free 3D TV" requires viewers to huddle near a central "sweet spot" and keep heads erect. A camera on the TV can allow it to track a viewer's location, and adjust the sweet spot accordingly, but not allow multiple viewers to see 3D from other seating positions. Fully dynamic glasses-free 3D is several years away, and affordable versions are further still.

By Jostian (Aug 9, 2011)

Not sure why this move when glasses free 3D TV's are already out?? why would anyone want glasses when one is able to watch 3D without??

By wlachan (Aug 9, 2011)

When the dust settles, people will move back to 2D.

By fti (Aug 9, 2011)

Don't think Active Glasses is the future. Too expensive. Imagine, you buy one TV for about 1500$ and get 1 or 2 glasses. Now if you have a family of 4 or would like to invite your friends over, you're gonna have to spend several hundreds of $ on spare glasses.

Besides, why do I keep seeing arguments about 1080p per eye? Has anyone ever been able to see 3D from tvs with one eye? The eventual 3D picture you get in your head is a residual of whatever number of pixels were flashed at you earlier anyway with active techonology.

By rockjano (Aug 9, 2011)

This is against LG.

LG's passive technology is gaining ground on an amazing way.

People willing go sacrifice some resolution on behalf of lighter cheaper glasses.

Especially important for people how already wearing glasses like me. The active glasses are real pain for me. Among the passive glasses there are clip on versions as well.

By JohnWho (Aug 9, 2011)

I agree - also, Vizio is providing passive systems at very aggressive pricing. Until "glasses free" systems become viable, passive allows one to get in on HD 3D at a reasonable entry point and uses essentially the same tech that we experience at IMAX and Real3D movies.

1 upvote
D Gnatat
By D Gnatat (Aug 9, 2011)

active glasses is the best perfect 3D ever

By Photogaz (Aug 9, 2011)

About time. I don't think there is a future though with 3D glasses and the technology without them doesn't work.

By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Aug 9, 2011)

Do the passive 3d glasses from LG the same asthe onesused in movies?
I'm intestedto buythe 65 inch LG is offering, although the bestbuy employee said there will be an 80 inch coingout this coming October.

Shelly Glaser
By Shelly Glaser (Aug 9, 2011)

Depends - Circular polarizers are used both on some home 3D units and at cinema and IMAX theaters. Wavelength (color) based glasses must be different because the spectral division in 3D home screens and 3D theater projectors is unlikely to be the same.

By fti (Aug 9, 2011)

The LG Cinema 3D range uses circular polarization. In other words, you can also lean on your head sidewayds and still watch 3D.

By dowop (Aug 9, 2011)

I have a LG 3D TV & the glasses you receive at the theater work fine.

Just Having Fun
By Just Having Fun (Aug 9, 2011)

Why not offer Passive glasses like LG and others. It works great at local IMAX.
Why pay so much extra?

By Tormenborba (Aug 9, 2011)

as simple as that.

By Tormenborba (Aug 9, 2011)

that's why they'll join together to make a standard, to charge you $200 for a pair of glasses.

Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Aug 9, 2011)

And yet, hundreds of millions of people were corrective glasses, or sunglasses (even at night!) and pay plenty.

Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (Aug 9, 2011)

...hundreds of millions who are forced into wearing glasses, because A. the sun hurts and
B. shortsightedness makes one bounce on poles or walls
..not a real argument there, sorry. :)

Total comments: 25