Remember the red and green paper glasses you would get in a '90s 3D movie? The picture was dim, the movie looked like a bunch of Christmas lights when the glasses weren t on your head, and the film had a cheap feel to it. The technology is continually evolving, and there are now two forms of 3D on the best 3D TVs: passive and active. Passive is cheaper for the consumer but active has better picture quality. The 3D movie experience is still big with major motion pictures, which begs the question, where does 3D technology go from here?
This technology is almost here. Several companies, including Toshiba, Hisense and Panasonic, have started to reveal glassless 3D TVs. Thanks to 4K technology becoming more prevalent, glassless 3D can become a reality. More resolution fields means 2D content can be converted to 3D content much easier. Glassless 3D takes away the cumbersome 3D glasses and allows you to enjoy 3D TV glasses free.
This is actually an idea from the past. You don t just want to see and hear a movie no, you need to experience it with all your senses. In 1960, the movie "Scent of Mystery" was released with Smell-O-Vision. The concept was smells would be released during the movie to identify characters, settings and plots. The concept bombed and Smell-O-Vision never took off in cinemas. But the technology did not die. Smell-O-Vision was brought to home media with scratch and sniff cards. Disney even got a piece of the action by releasing an attraction that released smells in conjunction with the movie on the attraction. Smell-O-Vision s legacy can be found in Time Magazine, which called it one of the 50 worst inventions of all time. Much like 3D TV with glasses, the execution might have been poor, but the idea was in the right place.
If tantalizing your sense of smell doesn t do it for you, how about being able to feel a movie? Theme parks have been using this idea for ages, calling their rides the 4-D experience. These motion ride simulators use a movie screen and a motion simulator to give the experience that you re riding a coaster, all while you never leave a room. Another example of this technology is D-Box motion simulators located at cinemas across the nation. These are special seats that move and vibrate in conjunction with the film you are watching. Why just watch a movie when you can literally feel it too? Can this technology be built in couches and recliners in the near future? We will see.
In Star Trek, it was the holodeck. In Tron, it was the virtual world. In the Matrix, it was, well, the matrix. Virtual Reality is a world where you can become part of another world and leave your real troubles behind. Imagine fighting off death eaters or space aliens in a fantasy world where you are the hero. Is this such a far-fetched idea? There have been many sci-fi films that deal with virtual reality. You can even argue that Nintendo already marketed a VR product with its Virtual Boy in the early '90s. This was a helmet with a gaming visor where you controlled games with a handheld controller. It was a commercial failure, but the first glimpse of the technology has already been invented and awaits the evolutionary process. In fact, Facebook has teamed with VR company, Oculus, to bring Virtual Reality to the public.
Are 3D TVs with glasses dying? Possibly. But maybe the glasses are just a stepping stone to future entertainment-enhancing developments. People are constantly looking for ways to improve products, and new technology will help ultra-sensory technology keep evolving.