What if they held the biggest technology trade show in America and nobody paid attention? That’s been the problem in past years for CES, the Consumer Electronics Show happening this week in Las Vegas. Sure, there are 140,000 people and 2,800 exhibitors, but look at the hot trends to come from CES in the last few years. Netbooks. Palm’s webOS software. 3-D Television.
Do you use any of those? Didn’t think so. Netbooks have been upstaged by tablets and ultrabooks; Palm has been bought, and discontinued, by Hewlett-Packard. As for 3-D TV….
The talk of 3-D is more muted this year than last, but Toshiba, for one, is showing off a 3-D set you can watch without those expensive, goofy glasses. 3-D had a lot of problems — hefty price tags, not a lot to watch — but they were made worse by the equipment. If you weren’t sitting in a narrow “sweet spot” in front of the screen with those glasses on, there wasn’t much to see.
ABC News’ Andrea Smith interviewed Bruce Walker of Toshiba America, who offered a demonstration of the new set.
“The TV will have the ability to track someone who’s watching TV,” he said. “So you don’t have to sit in one spot to get that beautiful 3-D experience. You’ll be able to move around the room and the TV will track where you are, and do it while you’re watching it.
“The TV will have a webcam built in to it. You’ll pull up a menu and tell the TV to find you; it’ll track your eyes, lock in, and now as you move your head you keep seeing 3-D wherever you are and whatever you do.”
Smith reports the picture was considerably better those from 3-D sets of last year, and she was impressed that she could move from side to side and still see a three-dimensional image.
How much would such a set cost? Toshiba’s not saying, though European versions, already on the market, cost about $10,000. And what would there be to watch? They’re still working on that.
UPDATE: A few people have asked if the set can track more than one person at at time, so that each sees a 3-D picture. Samsung’s answer: Not yet, but they’re working on it.