Falling prices may unlock 3D

The prosumer and mass market audiences don’t tend to run in parallel — especially when it comes to cameras. But when it comes to 3D, they seem to agree on one thing: Price is king.

3D capture technology is certainly intriguing to both groups, but few view it as essential — and the cost of entry has, thus far, been rather prohibitive. As the field continues to evolve, though, that might be changing.

Read more at Daily Variety

Samsung, Panasonic, Sony team for 3D

A collective of the top television manufacturers have joined forces to make 3D TV more attractive to consumers.

Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have announced plans to collaborate with XpanD 3D to develop a new technology standard for active 3D glasses. The partnership, called the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative, aims to eliminate the specialized glasses required for each manufacturer’s set.

Read more at Variety.com

Sony announces PlayStation Vita

The NGP has a real name at last.

Sony, at its pre-E3 press conference Monday, announced that the next generation handheld system, which was previously codenamed NGP, would be called PlayStation Vita – and would carry a price of just $249 for the Wifi version and $299 for the 3G-enabled version. The system will hit store shelves this holiday season.

Read more at Daily Variety

Volfoni rolls out active/passive 3D glasses

3D TV may finally have gotten a universal standard – kind of.

French company Volfoni will showcase ActivEyes, a hybrid active/passive 3D solution at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters show. The company, which unveiled the product at this year’s CES, says it can be used on any 3D screen.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

CES focuses on convenience

As technology gets more complex, it’s fitting that an underlying theme of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is making people’s lives easier.

Tech advances can be a dual-edged sword. Bleeding edge products might be phenomenal, but using them can often be frustrating (look no further than the bulky glasses required for 3D TV). There will be announcements galore at this year’s show – but more and more companies are realizing that the key to success is focusing on products that not only fill a need, but don’t require users to memorize a hefty manual before they turn it on.

Read more at Daily Variety

Hot Products at 2011 CES: Tablets, Apps and Mobile Devices

CES 2010 had thousands of items on the show floor, but at the end of the day, it was about 3D TV. The show marked the coming out party for the technology—and pretty much everything else was caught in its wake.

This year, though, there’s not likely to be a theme that’s quite so dominant, which will give other products a chance to shine.

Read more at CNBC.com

Avatar 3D finally headed to homes

The marketing relationship James Cameron and Panasonic struck in the fall of 2009 continues to bear fruit. Panasonic today announced that the 3D Blu-ray version of “Avatar” would be available exclusively to buyers of its 3D TV sets.

From now through Jan.1, consumers who buy a Vierra 3D TV will receive a copy of the film – which has previously only been available in 2D in homes – as well as two pairs of rechargeable 3D glasses.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

What’s holding 3D TV back?

3D TV is being pushed hard by television manufacturers, and while pick-up has been better than expected, it’s still not something the mass audience is clamoring for. Why not? 

A new study by Nielsen offers some insight – but you can probably guess the two biggest culprits. The survey finds that the high costs of the sets and being forced to wear 3D glasses are the two key reasons people aren’t rushing out to buy the sets. The news gets worse for manufacturers, though.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Panasonic ups its bet in 3D

Panasonic has been one of the biggest (and loudest) supporters of the 3D TV market. Now it’s ratcheting things up a bit more. 

The company has introduced another pair of 3D sets – the first by Panny to offer 2D to 3D conversion, which substantially increases the library of content. (It also brings the company in parallel with Sony and Samsung, which offer the technology.)

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog