07.06.2005 12:00 AM

3D TV (Without the Goofy Glasses)
Plans are going forward to create a three-dimensional form of HD that requires more highly defined screens than today's HD's formats, but you can throw away the silly looking red and green-tinted glasses. The HD3D format currently requires 1,280 lines and it truly appears three-dimensional to the naked eye. The technology is being fine-tuned by Deep Light, a company that plans to introduce HD3D for the first time at next winter's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to the New York Times.

Apart from the 3D itself, the technology gets cooler. Deep Light is working on a platform that employs multiple "blades" of video--enabling a single screen to show two or three different programs or services (such as video chat) to different viewers simultaneously. Depending on where someone is seated in a room, he can view his own video from his unique angle. Presumably, each viewer would need to wear headsets for audio. (Why, and if, people would really want to do this on the same set is a different issue, altogether.)

Although technical and financial hurdles remain, this so-called "stereoscopic imaging" is being used now in various industries such map-making and vehicle design. Artistically, however, 3D had always been hampered by those goofy glasses, which are still required for the recently released 3D motion picture, "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl."

A lot of cutting-edge innovation these days seem to begin with cell phones, especially in Asia. Sharp has sold more than three million 3D phones in Japan since 2003, and recently unveiled a laptop that can switch between 2D and 3D views. One of the savviest high-tech nations on the planet these days, South Korea, has undertaken an official government project dubbed "3D Vision 2010" in an attempt to make stereoscopic TV the worldwide standard within five years.

Besides Deep Light, headquartered in Beverly Hills Calif., a handful of other companies such as Toshiba are reportedly also working on new display technologies for 3D TV, presumably of the HD kind. But what impact HD3D will have on good old-fashioned HD, if any, is yet to be seen.

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