Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 3D Explosion

The 3D wave is coming. It’s hitting theaters, televisions, games, cell phones, and even event tickets. My client base has seen a dramatic shift into this space as well... I’m now working with multiple companies doing 3D animation, 3D production, and 3D post-productions, including Render Farms. Here’s what I’m seeing from my commercial realtor (and general consumer) standpoint:

3D Movies. 3D movies will see continuted growth. Wall Street Journal just published an article about RealD, the leading manufacturer of 3D theater projection systems. Here are a few statistics from the article, which you can find in its entirety here:
  • There are currently around 6,000 3D-enabled screens in North America. Extrapolation using RealD’s market share and analyst predictions for their growth indicates that this count will rise to over 45,000 within 5 years.
  • DreamWorks Animation SKG now produces all of its movies in 3D
  • 11% of box office revenues in 2009 were for 3D viewings… up from 2% in 2008.
  • As of this August, eleven 3D films have been released in theaters YTD.
3D Television. 3D television is available now and it looks great. I was recently in an electronics store and sat down to try out the new 3D television with active glasses. It was an amazing picture and I highly encourage you to check it out. I myself am not an early enough adapter to fork over the $3,000 he quoted for the TV and disc player, nor the ~$175 per pair for electronic glasses.

3D Cell Phones. I have personally viewed the “glassless” 3D cell phone display (stereoscopic is the technical term) that was deployed on a cell phone in Japan in 2009… it’s impressive but wasn’t ready for prime time at launch (Click here for a write up). And Sharp claims that they’ll begin producing their own more advanced version in 2010 (info here). I’m told that these stereoscopic displays can also be deployed in  a wall-sized versions as well.

3D Gaming. I spoke informally with an MMO gaming client yesterday about their predictions for the 3D gaming world and was told that it’s absolutely expected that people will one day play online and console games on 3D monitors. In fact, Nintendo has already issued a press release (click here) stating that it will release a portable 3D DS system in the 1st quarter of 2011. And guess what? It will use the glassless screen that I mention above!

3D Printing.  My next door neighbor is a principal in the company that prints the athletic event tickets for a collegiate sports team here in Atlanta.  He recently showed me this year's game tickets... in all their 3D glory!
3D Government Applications. The Military and NASA are already using 3D technologies for reconnaissance (and more, I’m sure).

A Concern. There's a concern I personally wonder about, and I have to admit that it may be isolated because no else has raised it to me.  Is technology about to bump up (again) with what our bodies can handle? My wife gets motion sick in minutes when watching 3D in theaters and on television.
I’m not implying that the world will ever go 100% 3D, but I do have to wonder if this will be a widespread issue and what affect it may have on adoption rates.
What does all this mean to the technology world?  In a word, everything for those who adopt.  To elaborate, theaters need new projection systems, homes need new TV's, producers need new cameras, post-producers need more powerful render farms, and on and on it goes...
Here's to your continued success! 

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hey John I am with your wife in regard to 3D - I can't handle it - I get dizzy after about 2 minutes. Agreed, the technology is exceptional - but is it practical?