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New Dimensions

New Dimensions


Advances in home 3D viewing were on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Tech expert Ina Fried looked at two state-of-the-art innovations, coming soon to a living room near you.

Several television makers, including LG, Vizio, and Toshiba showed 3D TVs running the same kind of technology used in the latest 3D movies, meaning home viewers only need a pair of electronics-free passive glasses. Those can be the cheap throwaway kind, but increasingly designer names, including Polaroid (pictured,, are also making higher-quality versions. One company at CES was even developing eyewear with prescription lenses that can be worn as regular glasses -- when you're not looking at 3D. The 3D technology would reveal itself only when you're watching a 3D movie or, curiously, looking at someone else wearing the same kind of glasses.

Don't dig the goggles? Toshiba is developing a technology that creates a 3D viewing experience that skips over the need for special lenses. Lenticular technology actually scans the room for the viewer's eye -- no glasses required, and glasses are the main stumbling block to consumer adoption. The screen displays in 3D when it can detect your eyes and in standard video when it cannot. While it's not yet ready for market, currently the demonstration product can adjust the image only for one pair of eyes, so it's likely to be most suited for a single-user experience, like a computer monitor.

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