M-3DI – A New Standard of 3D Active Glasses Announced

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Panasonic and universal 3D eyewear company XPAND 3D have set a new standard in 3D shutter glasses called M-3DI in the hope of bringing compatibility among 3D TVs, computers, home projectors and cinema projection.

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Standards in 3D have been thin on the ground so Panasonic and universal 3D eyewear company XPAND have approached other manufacturers to join the standard. It must also be an attempt to make more friends in the active camp of the passive glasses V active glasses debate.

Some of these new friends include Changhong Electric Co., Ltd., FUNAI Electric Co., Ltd., Hisense Electric Co., Ltd., Hitachi Consumer Electronics Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Seiko Epson Corporation, SIM2 Multimedia S.p.A. and ViewSonic Corporation.

The new 3D standard is called M-3DI and, as Real D license their system to others, M-3DI License Agent will provide a communication protocol between 3D TV sets, home projectors for other manufacturers to implement.

The M-3DI standard also aims to assure consumers of comprehensive quality control in the creation of their 3D eyewear.

Active / shutter 3DTVs have so far dominated the small 3D TV sales due to the cost of technology being in the glasses allowing for relatively low cost 3D TV prices. Major 3D TV manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sony and Samsung use the active 3D system but one manufacturers 3D glasses are not compatible with another’s (not good when visiting a friend with your 3D goggles to watch the 3D match and they have a different type of 3D TV  just like when none of your friends have the same mobile phone charger as you). Although all active 3D glasses work on the same principle, each manufacturer utilises different communication protocols between the 3DTV / projector and glasses.

Right now, M-3DI is based on infra-red connection but plan to consider radio communications next. Samsung recently announced their new range of 3D TVs will feature Bluetooth connected 3D active glasses (read the TG Daily article here).

"Panasonic has led in Full HD 3D innovation through the development of technologies that enable consumers to have a truly immersive experience with our 3D VIERA HDTV's and Blu-ray 3D players," said Hirotoshi Uehara, director of the Television Business Unit, Visual Products and Display Devices Business Group of Panasonic’s AVC Networks Company. "Now, 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. Joining forces with other 3D product manufacturers to standardize active-shutter 3D eyewear will help ensure that consumers have a superlative 3D experience at home and in the movie theatre. This is a major step toward creating truly universal 3D eyewear."

Commenting on the standard, XPAND 3D Chief Executive Officer Maria Costeira noted, “M-3DI eliminates confusion, provides a strong, uniform performance standard and ensures that manufacturers can concentrate on innovation and consumers can count on interoperability.”

3D active glasses may mean cheaper 3D TV sets and full HD but the flicker is highly noticeable as is the dark images on the screen. Standardised 3D active eyewear is a great idea in the short term but with full HD passive 3D televisions on their way with no flicker, will active 3D technology still be needed?

The M-3DI licensing process will be available as from next month.

Article by Jonathan. Contact Jonathan by emailing jonathan@3dfocus.co.uk

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