Why is 3D such a big deal?

If you’re born in the 21st century, then you’re definitely born with your 3D glasses on. The red and blue plastic glasses are a constant reminder of the steady flow of such content in both the entertainment and gaming space.

Last year, nearly 50 films were released in 3D globally. Now, 3D gadgets and home appliances based on the technology seem to have taken the obsession to a different level.

There was a time when people only went to watch a 3D movie to experience what it looked like. Apart from theatres, it is now possible to watch 3D films sitting on your couch at home.

A number of companies are offering 3D televisions as well. Toshiba, LG, Sony and Panasonic have launched 3D high definition televisions in India. These televisions have the capacity to convert 2D to 3D in real time. The Wi-Fi option also allows gaming and access to social networks. These televisions are available upwards of Rs 70,000. You can also watch content on some 3D televisions without the need to don the 3D glasses.

It’s pretty much the same case with 3D monitors as well. Companies like Samsung, LG and Asus offer these special monitors which come with ‘vision kits’. Some of these monitors can be tilted to adjust the experience. Certain laptops, like in the HP Envy series, are also available with 3D monitors.

Going mobile

Even the small hand-held and pocket device categories have seen several launches in this space recently. A couple of days ago, California-headquartered Swipe Telecom launched a 3D tablet PC in India. Branded as ‘3D Life’, the tablet boasts of delivering an unparalleled 3D experience. Priced at about Rs 6,000, the tablet is also capable of 3D video transfer and video calling.

The three dimensional feature is also available for mobile phones and cameras. Vu and LG have launched 3D cameras to allow users to click pictures in third dimension. These cameras can capture in 2D as well as in 3D. These are available upwards of Rs 20,000.

LG Optimus 3D is an Android phone which gives the user the 3D advantage. It does not require any special glasses to view images and videos in 3D. The internet is also flooded with 3D games that you can play on such devices. Web sites such as www.miniclip.com and www.online3Dgames.com allow users to play a range of 3D games, ranging from adventure to sports .

With so much more content being available in 3D, wonder if the special factor seems to be losing steam among users and viewers?

The rising costs are also a factor. Not only are 3D movie tickets about 30 per cent higher than average movies, even 3D gadgets make the customer’s wallet considerably lighter.

The transition from 2D to 3D took many years. But the transition to the ‘fourth dimensional’ space is already taking place in film technology . Mumbai already has a theatre called Orama 4D which showcases 4D movies. Such movies can give you a sensory experience with special features like leg ticklers, vibrating seats, foam, hot/cold air blasts, wind, snow and laser light effects. This unique experience of sorts costs viewers about Rs 250 for a 20 minute show.

priya.seth@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 2, 2012)
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