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Companies unite to create universal 3D glasses

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Three of the major consumer electronics companies – Samsung, Sony and Panasonic – have joined forces to create universal 3D TV active shutter glasses.

The aim is to agree on and standardise the 3D active glasses technology which can be used across a range of products including TVs, projectors and computers.

At present the 3D glasses from one TV will not work on a competitor’s TV – a factor that’s hindered 3D TV market growth in Australia.  

But that will be a thing of the past when the protocols are made available in 2012 with a view to also make them backwards compatible with 2011 3D TVs.

The initiative will also include technology developed between Panasonic and Xpand 3D.

Active shutter glasses allow viewers to experience 3D movies in full high definition to be displayed for each eye.

At present active 3D shutter glasses stay in sync with the TV using either infra-red or Bluetooth.

The Samsung 3D active shutter glasses

Samsung said: “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 US 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.”

Panasonic said: “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.”

Panasonic's 3D active shutter glasses

Sony added: “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 Division, Sony Corporation.

LG is not a part of this consortium because it has decided to go down the passive 3D glasses path with its latest Cinema 3D televisions.

Read the Tech Guide review of LG’s Cinema 3D TV.

While LG’s 3D glasses do not require power and are much lighter, the downside is they cannot provide full high definition 3D viewing.