Following up our recent discussion on the future of 3D TV and whether or not it would be “active”, “passive” or “glasses-free” 3D technology that wins, there’s news from Bloomberg that Toshiba has sold fewer glasses-free TV sets than it had hoped for.
Apparently Toshiba sold just 500 of the 20-inch model at about $2,940 each, and even less of the cheaper 12-inch set.
Despite the success of glasses-free (autostereoscopic) devices such as the Nintendo 3DS, the new 3D smartphones and 3D laptops, it seems that people aren’t willing to pay the high cost of having a small glasses-free 3D TV in their home.
The problem lies in the requirement of large television sets to be watched from multiple viewing angles and distances which is currently a limiting factor in the parralax barrier technology used in autostereoscopic displays. The problem is much less obvious for one user who’s a fixed distance and angle from the display, which is why the technology works much better with mobile phones, laptops and the 3DS.
According to Bloomberg, Toshiba engineers are racing to overcome a “mountain” of technical problems to bring larger glasses-free 3DTV’s to the market. They have already shown prototype 56-inch and 65-inch models, so perhaps the technology is one to keep an eye on. (sorry!)