Toshiba Solves the Awkward 3-D Glasses Problem

Remember having to wear those cheap, plastic frames to 3-D movies? The ones that'd pinch your nose throughout all four hours of Avatar? Well soon, those 3-D shades might be a thing of the past.

Japanese electronics powerhouse Toshiba announced Tuesday it's developing 3-D televisions that won't require glasses to work. The image quality will be lower and the viewer will have to stand in a specific spot to see the extra dimension—but isn't that worth ridding the awkwardness of watching David Gregory's well-coiffed hair pop out of the screen on Meet the Press 3-D alone with sunglasses on?

Other rival 3-D TV makers pinned their hopes on 3-D glasses becoming the norm, or maybe even cool. But it didn't help that Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake looked like elderly Cadillac drivers when wearing the wider-than-face frames in Sony commercials.

Panasonic couldn't make them cool either.

Several companies including Look3D tried stylish pairs to solve the problem, and one company created 3-D shades that could be worn outside movie theaters without distorting vision.

Ultimately though, the only way to make 3-D televisions the norm is to treat them like normal TVs. When HD and plasma came along, viewers weren't required to buy awkward peripherals to enjoy the technology. It's basically why Virtual Boy never caught on.

Toshiba seems to have figured this out early in the 3-D TV race. Have fun catching up Panasonic and Sony. 

[Top image via Parade]