Come this December, Toshiba will will start selling what would be the world's first 3-D televisions that work without forcing viewers to put on special - or goofy, as the case may be - glasses to enjoy the full experience.Toshiba offered a first look at its new flat panel television during the Ceatec technology conference taking place this week in Japan. the liquid crystal display TVs flatpanels will be available in 12- and 20-inch versions. The cost will range between the equivalent of $1,400 and $2,800. Unfortunately, this very cool and groovy-sounding product is only going to be sold in Japan for the time being. No word yet on Toshiba's plans to introduce the product to overseas markets.
If it works as advertised, the new technology may help accelerate the adoption of 3D televisions. With the exception of tech hipsters and early adopters, most consumers have shied away from buying 3d televisions because of the cost and hassle of using special viewing glasses.
According to Toshiba, the special sauce is "an integral imaging system" that offers "nine different perspectives (parallaxes) of each single 2D frame which the viewer's brain superimposes to create a 3-dimensional impression of the image." The company says it also developed "a powerful engine and an algorithm to extrapolate these perspectives out of the 2D frame and used a perpendicular lenticular sheet, an array of lenses, that enable the viewer's brain to superimpose the perspectives."
The project had been rumored to be underway for months.