What's that? Toshiba has introduced a 3-D television you can watch without those goofy glasses? Cue the hyperbole!
"A dream TV is now a reality. It's obviously more natural to watch TV without glasses. That is the natural technological progression," The New York Times quotes Masaaki Oosumi, president of Toshiba's visual products group, at a press event yesterday.
Oosumi demonstrated two glasses-free 3-D TVs for journalists. Each model uses a special screen to pull together nine images into a single frame, The Times reports. Pricing varies from $1,440 for the 12-inch model to $2,880 for the 20-inch set.
Just another morsel in a 3-D media meal
The obvious winner here is IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX ) , whose 3-D projection technology has become a profitable add-on for cinemas. More 3-D TVs means more 3-D DVDs, which in turn means more 3-D films.
But let's also not forget the studios. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) and Viacom's (NYSE: VIA ) Paramount Pictures are among those to have released 3-D hits in recent months. (Toy Story 3 for Disney; The Last Airbender for Paramount Pictures.) It's a good bet DVD editions of both 3-D films will be sold at a premium.
Retailers should also be pleased. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) and other digital entertainment specialists get a new piece of high-margin hardware for early adopters to drool over.
Even so, Toshiba's new sets are just morsels in a 3-D media feeding frenzy. Late last month, Lucasfilm announced a planned rerelease of the entire Star Wars saga in 3-D, beginning with The Phantom Menace in 2012. The long tail of just this one event could stretch more than a decade.
With all that, you'd think a tech investor like me would be all-in on 3-D. I'm not. Luxury technology has a place in the home, sure, but between Blu-ray and set-top boxes, many consumers have already upgraded their living rooms. My guess is the glasses-free 3-D TV concept -- cool though it sounds -- is at least five years away from mass adoption.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Will you buy a glasses-free 3-D TV when it becomes available? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to explain your thinking. And don't forget to check back to see how your peers are voting.