We can all remember how cool it was the first time we saw Mickey Mouse conducting his band or “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” at Disney World. We shuffled into the theater with our parents and siblings, were handed our 3-D glasses and told not to put them on until the movie started and then finally there was magic.
The images were exploding off the screen and right in front of our faces as we ducked so as not to get hit by extraneous objects, watching in amazement as the characters seemed to be speaking directly to us.
Whether your first 3-D experience was similar to this one or not did not occur until seeing “Avatar” a few weeks ago, most would agree that a 3-D experience is truly a special one.
With all that in mind it should come as no surprise that next on the agenda for the technological world is the creation of 3-D televisions, bringing the magic of 3-D into living rooms everywhere. It seems like a potentially cool premise. However, is it really necessary?
According to marketing professor Subimal Chatterjee, it isn’t. As Professor Chatterjee points out that consumers are in the midst of a gadget fatigue.
“The last few years people upgraded their standard TVs to HD TVs and their standard DVD players to Blu-Ray players. Consumers need to be given the time to breathe, and one upgrade after another frankly confuses consumers,” Chatterjee said.
There is also the issue of what this change would mean in terms of other entertainment technologies that rely on TVs, such as DVDs or Blu-Ray Discs and video games.
“New technology needs to be compatible with the way we live, so now consumers need to upgrade their DVD/Blu-Ray players. Now doesn’t seem to be right time for this gadget,” Chatterjee explained.
Another factor to consider is that of the not-so-fashionable glasses that accompany anything 3-D.
While they are bearable for the two hours in the theater, 3-D glasses would probably serve as more of a nuisance in the house. Constantly taking them off and putting them back on whenever being interrupted, needing to provide a pair for company when having people over, not being able to have the TV casually on in the background without the glasses and cooking or doing homework in front of the TV would also include the 3-D specs.
Although 3-D TVs sound like a cool premise, it would mean seeing anything in 3-D would no longer be something special, but an everyday thing, which means movies like “Avatar” and “Up” wouldn’t be as mesmerizing.
“I loved ‘Avatar’ in 3-D and having a 3-D TV would definitely take away from the beauty and uniqueness of it,” accounting major Sanela Mesalic, a sophomore, said.
The Grammy awards also posed a questionable performance when the majority of viewers were left to watch a blurred 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson because most people weren’t handed 3-D glasses before the show. Although the idea was great, the integrity of the honor was greatly detracted from by the fact that most people couldn’t see the full effect.
Whether a good idea or not, 3-D TVs are on their way. At a press conference on Jan. 6, Samsung said they will be backing 3-D TVs and Blu-Ray players this year. The press conference also pointed out the idea of converting 2-D content into 3-D, according to Charlie Sorrel, writer for The New Yorker.
So whether you buy in or not, 3-D TVs are the new gadget for 2010. Only time will tell how well they take off.