The good news about the 3D TVs coming out this spring and summer is that they'll come packed with two pairs of 3D lenses. The bad news? Those plastic glasses work only with the brand of TV with which they're shipped.
That means that if you buy a Panasonic 3D TV, you can't use the accompanying lenses with your neighbor's Sony 3D TV, should you want to get together to watch the World Cup in 3D this summer. That's because each TV brand has a sensor that picks up a signal from the corresponding brand of glasses.
If that seems backwards, it's because it is. But it's also the sign of a new technology that hasn't yet worked out all of its kinks. Thankfully, the burgeoning 3D industry knows that this is a shortcoming and is concocting a fix.
One company that makes 3D eyewear, XpanD, has staked its claim to be the vendor of choice for brand-agnostic 3D glasses. The company has been manufacturing 3D glasses for movie theaters in Europe and Asia for years, and it is now moving to make the glasses work for people's homes as well.
XpanD has been contracted to produce the lenses that will ship with Panasonic and Vizio's 3D sets, but the company is also aiming more broadly: to be the provider of one pair of glasses that people buy once and use everywhere. XpanD's glasses will be available for between $125 and $150, starting June 1 at retailers such as Best Buy and Sears.
"The goal of the glasses is to work with every (size of) 3D display, from laptops to cinema," said Ami Dror, XpanD's chief strategy officer.… Read more