Walking around CES, one thing was very clear: The consumer electronics industry is betting big on 3D. Many approach the promise of 3D with a very bullish perspective, but I tend toward a bearish outlook.
As I went from booth to booth, I kept looking at the displays of the 3D TVs and asked myself the same question â€œwhy the heck do I need those glasses?â€ (I know the technical answer â€“ but it was more an emotional response to the idea presented). Finally, at the fifth booth highlighting the solution, I started to think â€œif they convince me to wear those glasses, isnâ€™t the real question â€˜why the heck do I need the TV?â€™â€
For a significant population of consumers, 3D OLED glasses may be the right fit. If they have to be wearing glasses anyways, and primarily watch TV or game alone, a $400 pair of 3D glasses might be the perfect solution for the 18-24 year old crowd. And if those became popular, someone would shortly add a camera and create an augmented reality experience layered into the device. (In fact, Vuzix had a pair of AR glasses at their booth).
I still think that 3D may flop entirely (I see the promise of a connected TV and widgets as a much more salient selling point to consumers). But if it does become successful, and the electronics companies can convince consumers to watch TV wearing glasses, I think for a segment of consumers the eyewear will replace the TV. Keep an eye on Oakley â€“ they are primly positioned for this, considering the investment theyâ€™ve made in optics and video technology for the RED camera line.