If you were saving the several million dollars needed to purchase a 3D television, and you finally picked one up, boy do I have bad news for you: According to a Japanese publication, Toshiba is set to release three different 3D TVs that don't require glasses. The sets will be available by the end of the year.
The first of the TVs will apparently feature a 21-inch display, and will cost several thousand dollars. The sets will use technology similar to the Nintendo 3DS, but with, apparently, a key difference. To put it in technical terms:
"The integral imaging system offers a significant reduction in eye fatigue during long periods of viewing, and features a multi-parallax design that enables motion parallax, which cannot be achieved by systems using glasses. The multi-parallax approach results in images that change depending on the viewer's position. In addition, the viewing angle is wide, and the resulting stereoscopic image is natural and smooth. In some previous integral imaging implementations, there have been issues raised relating to the loss of effective image resolution. In previous implementations, if the number of pixels in the display is kept constant and not increased, then the multi-parallax approach will reduce the effective resolution of the 3D display in an inverse proportion to the number of parallax positions. We have addressed this problem by applying LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) technology to develop an ultra-high-definition LCD module for this newly-introduced high-definition and large-screen 3D display.
Where the DS is designed for one person looking at it from a specific angle, Toshiba's idea is to create a 3D viewing surface with no "sweet spot." In other words, you won't have to be viewing the image from a particular location to get the 3D effect.
This is not confirmed or anything. A Toshiba spokeswoman said: "We are not in a position to make any announcement."
It does raise an interesting question: There are several unique and incompatible "systems" for viewing 3D television. If the thing takes off, a segment or early adopters are really going to be left in the dust here, eh, people?
Are you backing a particular 3D horse yet?