Would You Buy Toshiba's Glasses-Free 3-D Laptops?

3D glasses free laptops

Will 3-D succeed? The technology has always been hindered by the viewing experience's central component, 3-D glasses, which have been awkward and annoying to wear ever since the flimsy red-and-blue framed spectacles of yore. But with 3-D tech creating a blockbuster boom in Hollywood, everyone involved in the industry--from Sony to 50 Cent--is now focused on making 3-D glasses cool and fashionable.

Other companies though such as Apple and Toshiba are focused on making them disappear. Both companies have pushed for glasses-free 3-D technology, and this week at CES, Toshiba is showing off its latest entry to the field: glasses-free 3-D laptops.

We caught an early tech demo of the technology and must admit it's very cool to see 3-D integrated so well with 2-D. When sitting in front of the computer, the webcam finds and follows your eyes, creating a viewing experience optimized for your gaze. If you have Avatar playing in one window, and a Word document open in another, Toshiba's eye-tracking technology will make one part of the screen 3-D, while keeping the other parts the lesser dimension.

Although we can't imagine that you're dying to edit Excel files and watch Alice in Wonderland simultaneously, the seamless and glasses-free display make the tech more viable than other platforms released thus yet.

Toshiba's glasses-free 3-D laptops do not have an official launch date, but once released, the company hopes to see improved 3-D consumer adoption. Sales for 3-D TVs have not met expectations so far, according to execs at Best Buy, the consumer electronics retail giant which has heavily pushed 3-D devices from Samsung, Panasonic, as well as Toshiba. A recent survey revealed that 83% of respondents didn't consider 3-D TVs important enough to purchase--having to wear 3-D glasses was a central complaint. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn has blamed the low adoption rates on a lack of consumer education.

"One person said to me, 'Gee, I don't know if I would want a 3-D TV because if you don't have the glasses on, it's cloudy or fuzzy,'" Dunn said recently. "The truth is, a 3-D TV is your best 2-D TV as well. The 3-D is just a feature."

And that's exactly what Toshiba is trying to demonstrate to consumers--that 3-D is just a feature on your laptop, no different than an HD screen, a DVD burner, or a Wi-Fi connection. Why wouldn't you want to have it? After all, you don't even have to wear those silly glasses.

Still, while 3-D has been big at the box office, it's unclear whether it'll ever be big at home. With 3-D TVs failing to gain steam among consumers, it is too soon to rush this technology to a mobile platform before it's even taken off on non-mobile devices?

[Image by Centralasian]

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3 Comments

  • João Gabriel Albani

    I'm already dying to see some 3D excell graphics!

    Goodbye Pie chart!

  • Amanda Iseri

    Not to sound like my 65-year-old father, or try to mature my age by a few generations, but I can't say I'm fully aboard the 3D bandwagon quite yet. I like the idea of seeing a 3D movie here and there, but in today's world most of us spend a majority of our day looking at screens in some form already (TV, computer, cell phone, video console, skype...). Adding one more dimension to strain my eyes is the last thing my peepers need right now.

    I'm not against the development of 3D technology- "Go innovation!", but to simply answer your question, "No, I probably won't be purchasing Toshiba's Glasses-Free 3-D"