3D Glasses

What do you want to see in 3D? It’s often said that sports content was the reason HDTV took off — home viewers were hooked the minute they found they could get up close to the action and see every blade of grass on the football field as the players collapsed in a tackle. The same may well hold true for 3D. If you were not only watching the game but felt like you were in the middle of it, the adrenaline rush could quickly become addictive.

It might not have been sports, but rather the success of 2009’s giant 3D box-office hit Avatar that made the film’s director, James Cameron, into a devoted fan of 3D. Now he and his special-effects partner Vince Pace are willing to bet they’ll be able to convince small-screen audiences that they can’t live without a 3D TV. They’ve launched a new venture, the Cameron-Pace Group, with the aim of enabling the creation of more 3D content specifically for television.

“Broadcasting is the future of 3D,” Cameron said in an article published in the Hollywood Reporter. And he is definitely bullish on this statement, because he went on to say that in two years, “everything will be produced in 3D and 2D versions will be extracted from that.”

Up to this point, 3D content has been limited mostly to animated movies and films made for giant-screen theaters such as IMAX. The limitations in availability of 3D production technology, combined with the immense expense of producing content in the format tended to scare broadcasters away. But the Cameron-Pace Group intends to change all of that by making its Fusion camera system, used to make Avatar, available to broadcasters.

This could be the discovery moment for 3D. As Pace said in the Hollywood Reporter article: “There are a lot of myths about the barriers to entry…. To grow this market correctly, we need to let people do what they do and the use of the tools be transparent.”

There is much potential for 3D outside the home as well. Several major electronics companies, such as Panasonic and Sony, have debuted low-cost 3D cameras that could easily be used in corporate training, education, museum, and house of worship applications. In fact, Sony just released a 3D pocket camera.

The potential for 3D content in various commercial AV applications is huge, and it might even be beneficial for viewers. Projection technology manufacturer DLP has already found that students learn more when presented with 3D content. In a case study published by DLP, teachers in a 3D projector pilot program gave the technology high marks: “The DLP 3D display captures the attention of students—bringing the ‘wow’ factor from the movie theater to the classroom—and creates an immersive environment in which students can learn more and retain that information from clear and vivid presentations.”

If 3D works in classrooms, just think what it could do for a sales pitch in a boardroom. Additionally, as more houses of worship broadcast their services on television, the potential for bringing the service to home viewers increases substantially with 3D.

So the next time you find there’s nothing on TV, or if you think that the CEO’s latest PowerPoint presentation was a bit dry, maybe it’s time you did something about it. Grab a 3D camera and expand your world view.