You may think 3D TV is the kind of technology that will only ever appear in pages of a Dan Dare comic – a pipe dream.
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications feel differently. They have stated that they plan to make it a commercial reality by 2020.
Japan is well advanced in TV technology – they’ve had HDTV for _ever_, so it makes sense that they start to purse what many feel should be the ultimate extension of TV.
Given their HD TV background, the 3D TV would be displayed at HD resolution, but it doesn’t stop there, they’d also have the sensation of touch and smell. This isn’t 3D with big clumpy glasses, but is watched with the naked eye.
There have been a number of research projects working on this over the last few years, indeed I was lucky enough to see one demonstrated last year. It was impressive.
A US company deepLight is claiming that they will be shipping displays in the first quarter of 2006, initially for commercial use, but as prices reduce home use will become practical.
Reuters interviewed Yoshiaki Takeuchi, director of research and development at the Ministry, giving an interesting example of, “Can you imagine hovering over your TV to watch Japan versus Brazil in the finals of the World Cup as if you are really there?”
3d TV forms part of a grand national project, formed around “universal communication,” which Reuters define as “a concept whereby information is shared smoothly and intelligently regardless of location or language.” Their serious about it too – the ministry will be requesting a budget of 1Bn Yen for the project.