10 January 2010

Orange Chicken, Fried Rice, and 3D

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

I woke up craving Chinese food.  OK.  Not real Chinese food.  I mean the crap they serve at Beachwood Mall.  The kind of crap that's actually really good crap.  So, we bundled up like true snow bunnies and departed in search of American-ized Chinese food.  Mmmm... MSG.

After consuming said crap (it was worth the trip, as far as crap goes), we had a few things to do, so I decided to kill time by going into the Sony Store (whatever they call it).  After milling about, and being asked by three different people if I needed help, the fourth guy asked "wanna kill time with the new 3D TV?"

Well... yeah.

We moseyed over to the 3D-corner, where surprisingly cool specs (though not lacking that special kinship with Floridian over-80 driver sunglasses) were sanitized, and handed to me.   Ready to be sucked into a world where it was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (which I have yet to see, though what I did see piqued my interest), I donned the octagenarian visors of technology and...

 ... watched a bunch of blurry things not quite pop out at me.

I admire Sony, DirecTV, ESPN and whoever else is attempting to bring 3D technology to the home.  I really do.  In the sort of way that I admire someone who is trying to get in the front door by pushing - not pulling, yet is unwilling to accept that he or she is wrong.  It takes guts to be so brazenly wrong.

I loved the experience of seeing Avatar.  It was unquestionably the finest theatrical 3D experience I've thus far witnessed.  It was the only time I've been to a movie in memory that one could hear a pin drop (save for the occasional annoying child).  But the key phrase in this paragraph is theatrical 3D experience.  Huge screen.  Community gathering.  Inexhaustible supply of 3D glasses. 

We live in an age where technological success and innovation in the consumer, business, home and private worlds are marked not by the addition of middle-men and input devices (remote controls, game controls, 3D glasses, keyboards, mice, etc), but rather the elimination of them (touch screens, Microsoft's "Project Natal," voice dictation software, etc. etc.)

I only see a 3D television appealing to a niche market - not a mainstream one.  It would be a fantastic video gaming television - but very few have the disposable income to buy a 3D television exclusively for gaming.  Or sports.  Or what have you. (As an aside, the television I tinkered with had both 2D and 3D capability).

When you purchase a 3D television now, aren't you really buying another game console?  You need something else (an input device) to experience it.  What if you run out of glasses?  Is it a similar situation to when you have four people who want to play a video game and you've only got two controllers?

The key to success in bringing 3D television to the home is not in replicating the theatrical experience.  That's tantamount to going up and down the stairs surfing on a cookie sheet to replicate the roller coaster experience.  It doesn't work, and is more of a pain than it's worth. 

As we move towards an age where televisions are internet ready, Netflix ready, gaming console ready, we eliminate peripherals.  Game consoles.  DVD players.  Blu-Ray.  Satellite services.  Cable companies.

Octagenarian-inspired 3D glasses for a 3D television are NOT the wave of the future.  Quit pushing when you should be pulling.

The door opens easier that way.


The Dark Scribe said...

Great "perspective" on the upcoming trend that's dying before birth.

I just read about TCL's 3D television, which puts the lenses on the tv screen rather than the viewer. Sounds like a good way to avoid octogenarianism, assuming the picture quality is the same. Somehow, I doubt it is.

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