We ask our panel if high hopes for the 3D sector are misplaced

Industry Opinions: 3D

The tech industry is pumping huge sums of money into the research and development of 3D devices, but is there a danger the public won’t take to it to the degree that manufacturers are hoping?

We asked our panel of industry experts ‘Could the revived 3D sector leave some firms seriously out of pocket?’

Paul Cubbage
Managing Director,
Target Components

It’s difficult to see a mass-market application for 3D at this stage, and trying to convince the 0public that they have a need or desire for 3D TV will likely be an uphill struggle. For most, it is an event, not a necessity. It’s nice to see a 3D movie once in a while, or go to the pub to watch football in 3D, but not the sort of thing you’d feel the need for day in, day out. I don’t imagine we’ll all be sat at home watching TV with 3D glasses on anytime soon. As with all technology, it will develop with time; costs will come down and more compelling applications will be developed, but the returns are likely to be long-term.

Neil Spicer
GPU and Chipsets Lead,

3D was the hot topic at both CES and IFA this year. We believe 3D is a viable technology and that it will continue to grow. However, the extent of this growth will largely depend on the experience; for some, the need for glasses may be seen as a hindrance. At AMD, we think that the growth and mass-market appeal for 3D devices will depend upon the new experiences offered beyond the current glasses-and-monitor systems available. We believe that if the industry adopts an open standard approach to 3D in these early stages, this will drive the necessary innovation needed for it to become a success.

Adam Harris
Chief Executive Officer,
Technology Channels Association

The 3D sector is in danger of becoming too fascinated with the latest trend. 3D is not new; it was actually pioneered in the early sixties and was famously used by Alfred Hitchcock, so if the demand was there then surely the manufacturers would have developed the technology at a greater speed. As someone who wears glasses, the experience both at home and in the cinema doesn’t feel natural and is also inconvenient. There is no doubt that 3D, when used properly, can enhance the visual experience and gives some breathtaking results, but one of the issues is that there is too much bad use of the technology.

Matthew Parrish
Product Manager,
VIP Computers

You can invest as much as you like into the R&D of 3D hardware, but ultimately it will be the availability of content that will determine its success; the popularity of Avatar demonstrated that. Nvidia has been careful to ensure that a huge back-catalogue of PC games can be played with its 3D Vision hardware, even if they weren’t originally written with that intention. Sony is also heavily investing in 3D technology and it has more than enough clout to make sure that there will be plenty of content to give people a reason to buy 3D hardware. Other manufacturers must follow Sony’s and Nvidia’s lead in this respect.

Iain Bristow
Technical PR and Component
Product Marketing Specialist, Asus

As with any new innovation, there is always a certain amount of risk involved. Without this innovation though, we wouldn’t see as many new products or exciting developments such as 3D or CPUs with inbuilt graphics. A few years ago we could have questioned whether high-definition content would be successful, or if the public would adopt it as well as DVD or VHS. As we can see now, it’s been very successful. In my opinion, 3D is the next step and is a far cry from the previous iterations of 3D technology that we’ve seen – If you haven’t experienced 3D yet, you’re missing out!

Nigel Catlow
Business Group Director for
Consumer Electronics, GfK

The last time the television industry launched a new format like this it was widescreen which took three or four years to reach a substantial volume. Now, 3D TV is already way in advance of this but it will be a gradual take up as prices become more mass-market, 3D software titles become more readily available and more products and screen sizes come to market.

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