Electronics firms agree on 3D compatibility

Converts to three-dimensional entertainment will be able to do away with different eyewear for all their various appliances after some of the biggest names in home electronics agreed on the first industry standard for three-dimensional active-shutter glasses.

The agreement will enable consumers to use the same optical equipment across the different makers' 3D television sets, computers, home projectors and cinema projection units.

Home-use entertainment systems that incorporate 3D technology have taken off in the last year, with Panasonic Corp. the first to release a high-definition TV capable of projecting images in three dimensions in April of last year.

Most other visual appliance manufacturers were quick to follow suit and 3D gadgets attracted the most attention at Japan's CEATEC - the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies - in September.

But with different manufacturers all setting their own individual standards for 3D eyewear technology, consumers have been forced to purchase numerous sets of 3D glasses to use with different appliances.

Panasonic and X6D Ltd. have teamed up with a number of the biggest companies in the sector, including Seiko Epson Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi and Changhong Electric Co., in the creation of the new M-3DI standard for eyewear products.

X6D is the global leader in the 3D eyewear market and its XPAND Universal 3D Glasses are the only products that can be programmed to work with all 3D television brands and models as well as computers, gaming consoles and cinemas. The company's technology is already in use in more than 3,500 3D cinemas in over 50 countries.

As well as creating compatibility for users, the companies involved in the collaboration believe it will make a significant contribution to increasing sales of 3D home appliances.

"We are excited to be joining XPAND 3D and the other participants of the M-3DI initiative to make Full HD 3D TV even more widely accessible," Hirotoshi Uehara, director of the Television Business Unit at Panasonic's AVC Networks Co., said in a statement.

"Joining forces with other 3D product manufacturers to standardise active-shutter 3D eyewear will help ensure that consumers have a superlative 3D experience at home and in the movie theatre," he said. "This is a major step toward creating truly universal 3D eyewear."

It is not clear whether other manufacturers of 3D equipment will join the industry alliance, although Maria Costeira, chief executive officer of X6D, said the benefits are clear.

"M-3DI eliminates confusion, provides a strong, uniform performance standard and ensures that manufacturers can concentrate on innovation and consumers can count on interoperability."

JR

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