Day Two at CES: The future of 3D


There are plenty of 3D skeptics out there, but the exhibitors at this year's Consumer Electronics Show seem invested in the format's future and offered new products that push 3D technology further into the mainstream.

Perhaps the most eye-catching of these new products is the NX300 camera from Samsung. With a special 3D lens, the camera can shoot photographs and movies in HD 3D.

"It's the best 3D performance by far for, well, less than a small fortune," Samsung's Jay Kelbley told Yahoo! News during a demonstration of the camera.

The NX300 debuts in March and will sell for about $750 with the 3D lens attachment going for an additional $500. The roughly $1,200 price could entice aspiring photographers and filmmakers who want to take their productions to new dimensions.

The NX300 also comes in a vintage look that's reminiscent of older analog cameras. But it also has a powerful digital boom microphone built into the camera, and brilliantly captures 3D images with depth up to around 10 feet from the camera.

And once you've shot your 3D movie, or if you just want to fire up your favorite Blu-ray, you can fully immerse yourself using Vuzix's Widescreen Video Eyewear. The glasses can play both 2D and 3D programming and simulate a 75-inch screen that fully immerses the viewer's field of vision. They are highly compatible, too; if you're sitting on a plane, you can plug the glasses right into your iPhone or tablet device.

Vuzix was also showcasing other eyewear that comes with built-in storage capacity.

"We're looking at anywhere from 16 to 32 gigs of internal storage," Vuzix spokeswoman Sharon Easton told Yahoo News.

The glasses are priced below $500 but range up to $1,200, depending on which add-on features — like built-in surround sound speakers — are included.

There was even at least one 3D manufacturer at CES promoting a conversion model for televisions that will allow the viewer to take in 3D programming without pesky 3D glasses. Other companies have experimented with similar technology, but Dimension Technologies says their "Time Multiplexed Backlight" system is unique in that it offers true HD 3D and allows viewers to easily switch between 2D and 3D programming without a loss in resolution.

The real question about 3D's future seems to be whether or not high-quality content will be produced to match the increasing variety of options available for viewing 3D programming. After all, audiences have continued to show an interest in 3D, even for content like this past weekend's "Texas Chainsaw 3D," which took home the weekend box-office crown (despite dismal critical reviews and disappointed audience reactions).

But with independent filmmakers now facing some affordable 3D options, the quality and quantity of 3D may be about to experience a high-def upgrade.