Last month, Oakley tested the 3-D industry waters with an announcement that it plans to release special Tron-themed 3-D glasses. Now the luxury sunglasses vendor has announced the release of Oakley 3-D Gascan–the world’s first optically correct (read: visual distortion-less) 3-D glasses.
Oakley’s big idea isn’t to make cool looking 3-D glasses, it’s to make cool-looking glasses that also happen to work in 3-D movies.
Like the Tron-themed glasses, the passive-lense Gascan glasses can be used in theaters, with 3-D video games, and with all passive polarization 3-D TV sets (active shutter 3-D glasses are only compatible with certain brands). And Oakley CEO Colin Baden is confident that Oakley blows away its passive lense competition. “We have no serious competitors,” he says.
We haven’t had the chance to do an exhaustive comparison of all the passive 3-D glasses on the market, but Oakley did provide us with a pair of Gascan lenses for review. Our verdict: The Gascan glasses are light years ahead of the throwaway 3-D glasses handed out at the theater. That slight headache-y feeling that usually comes with watching 3-D movies? Gone. The visuals provided by the Gascan glasses are somehow sharper and smoother than with other glasses we’ve tried. And of course, Oakley’s glasses look slicker than anything your local movie theater hands out.
That comparison to 3-D glasses given out in theaters is partially what Oakley is banking on. “We have a significant retail business in malls with theaters showing 3-D movies,” Baden says. We can put a [3-D] screen in the store, and say ‘By the way, you can use these glasses to watch Tron here.”
At first, Baden thinks that the Gascan glasses will appeal primarily to early adopters. “The individuals that will go out of their way to go to a better theater, that want a premium theater experience … they’ll want to optimize their eyewear,” he explains. It’s a fair assumption–at $120 a pop, the Gascan glasses probably won’t speak to casual theatergoers who don’t own 3-D TVs.