Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3D - Not

We are hearing big things about 3D. The movie Avatar was recently released in two different 3D systems, and at the CES trade show, several television makers announced that they will have 3D TVs available later this year. Optimism abounds. Someone in the panel for the This Week in Tech episode broadcast from the CES show in Las Vegas said they managed to watch a 3D demo for several minutes before they got a headache.

The real problem is that we have been here before. Every few years there is a new 3D system that is going to change the world of visual media. 3D still pictures are 100 years old. The first 3D movies were released in the 1950's. I saw "Flesh for Frankenstein" in 3D more than 30 years ago. Since then we have had 3 or 4 more 3D hype cycles. The result has always been the same, a lot of huff and puff with no lasting result. I see no reason why 3D should fare any better this time than it has on all the previous occasions.

1 comment:

The Editor said...

Interesting question - is 3D going to happen, or is it, like GaAs, "the technology of the future; always has been, always will be"?

I think things may be different this time because (i) we're running out of thing to do with home theatre now we have HDTV and surround sound, (ii) 3D really could be made to work technically - I can imagine neat 3D glasses - think Apple not Amstrad - that one might want to wear in the street, (iii) Hollywood seem to have realised it will have to learn a new language of storytelling for 3D.

BY the way, I too saw "Flesh for Frankenstein" - twice in fact. It's rubbish in 2D.