Display 2008: 3D screens dump the silly glasses

Flat-panel displays are so mainstream these days they have an entire massive exhibition dedicated to them – the Display Expo in Tokyo. That’s where the technologies we’re likely to see in the shops over the next few years get an early airing, and we were there.

Gaining most attention at Display 2008, which runs from today until Friday, were a smattering of 3D displays, including a few that might make it to our living rooms before long.

No glasses on us

The biggest attention seeker of the lot was a small US firm called NewSight Corporation, which had a constant throng of visitors clamouring to see its 3D displays.

The reason for the fuss was simple – unlike competitors, such as the Hyundai set we saw recently, NewSight’s MultiView technology shows straight-up simulated three-dimensional video without the need for glasses.

The company’s Kiyoto Kanda explained the appeal: "Our screens can be seen in full 3D with the naked eye because there’s no need for special glasses. That’s important in advertising – imagine having to hand out glasses to people in the street just so they could see an advert; it’s impossible."

Future of commerce

Next-generation advertising, or digital signage, is where NewSight is currently concentrating its range of MultiView displays. They run from an 8.4-inch mini display right up to an eye-catching 57-incher that costs around £12,500.

At the Tokyo show, the 57-inch screen was filled with images of Budweiser bottles in the hands of bikini models shaking them and seductively spraying their contents directly out of the screen at viewers, so it’s clear where such riots of 3D colour will end up – bars and restaurants.

However, as Kanda explained, there is hope for the home user. "We will develop screens for 3D home theatre in the near future," he said. "It just depends on the broadcasters – if they want to convert old 3D content to our system (and we can handle any format) we’ll meet the demand for screens."

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.