Polaroid and RealD Launch Luxe 3D Eyewear

ORMOND BEACH, FLA., ZURICH and BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.: Polaroid and RealD are going to make lovely 3DTV glasses together. The pair recently announced a global licensing agreement for Polaroid to use the RealD brand on a new line of Premium 3D Eyewear that can also be worn for sunglasses.

Under deal terms, Polaroid Eyewear will distribute RealD-certified 3D glasses through movie theaters, eye care professionals and other retail channels in its global network of subsidiaries and distributors. The new glasses will be compatible with RealD-equipped 3D theaters around the world (RealD’s quarterly results indicate 7,500 screens are equipped.) The specs will come in a “range of custom frames with precisely curved lenses,” says Joseph Peixoto of RealD.

Polaroid says the lenses are different from standard 3D cinema glasses because of their particular curvature. They’ll also have UV protection and so can double as sunglasses. For folks with prescription lenses, Polaroid is making styles that fit over “any optical frame,” it said. Little 3D glasses for kids are also on tap.

No pricing or date of availability was given. The deal is a plus for Polaroid, given the passing of its film business two years ago. The company has since focused on digital products and sunglasses, signing Lady Gaga this year as a creative director for a specialty line of imaging products.

RealD’s throw-away 3D glasses have been a staple at theaters across the country this year with the explosion of 3D content. The company went public last month in an offering that raised $230 million, netting it around $82.6 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The IPO exceeded analyst expectations with 12.5 million shares selling for $16 each, rather than the $13 to $15 projected by the Street. The price quickly shot up toward $20 before succumbing to the current jitters affecting the wider market. Shares (NYSE: RLD) were trading for $17.42 at mid-day today.

The 3D projection specialist reported revenues of $64.5 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2011, ending June 25, 2010, up 152 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $9.8 million compared to a loss of nearly $7 million a year earlier.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

July 15, 2010:
RealD Preps for First 3D-centric IPO
“We increasingly believe domestic eyewear subsidies to RealD will be reduced or cut entirely over the next couple of years,” said BTIG analyst, Rich Greenfield.