Toshiba supersized, glasses-free, 3-D TV steals IFA show

Sep 04, 2011 by Nancy Owano weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Toshiba earlier this week showed off its new no-glasses 55-inch 3-D TV. The company says it is the world’s first large screen 3-D TV that does not require any glasses. According to Toshiba, the new 55ZL2 is its most advanced television to date with the latest imaging technology. Toshiba chose the IFA 2011 event in Berlin, a high-profile trade show for consumer electronics and gadgets, as the venue to preview this supersized flat-screen television. With promotional showmanship, glasses were handed out at the press briefing with the words "bye bye" printed across the lenses.

Toshiba uses an imaging technique based on the stereoscopic principle of simultaneously delivering a picture for the left eye, and another picture with a small offset (parallax), for the right eye to achieve a 3-D viewing experience. A range of lenticular lenslets guides the images. A Quad Full HD display offering up to 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution enables an effective 3-D effect for up to nine viewers, where images are being presented to different positions throughout a room.

Showcasing the TV's features, made special note of the new set's face-tracking technology. This means that a camera below the screen can scan to see how many faces are in the room, with nine the limit. Faces are tracked so that the machine can adjust the images. The aim of face-tracking is to provide a 3-D experience no matter where the viewer is in the room. There are nine different optimal angles for good picture quality in the Toshiba set. The user pushes a button on the remote control, which activates the camera.

The viewer can upscale 2-D content to 3-D. As part of the conversion, the Toshiba TV offers depth control to adjust the depth to the user's liking. The TV will be available in Germany in December. The unit costs €7,999 euros, or about $11,400.

The debut is viewed with interest by market watchers who note that the no-glasses 3-D advancement comes at a time of sagging television sales and heightened competition among TV manufacturers. Bells and whistles enhancing the viewing experience are ways in which the vendors can differentiate and improve sales. With this week's debut, Toshiba has a lead over rival manufacturers still struggling to make 3-D television sales show better growth. Glasses-free viewing may change the tide of disappointing sales figures.

Explore further: Bringing history and the future to life with augmented reality

More information: Press release

Related Stories

Toshiba to launch first glasses-free 3D TV

Aug 24, 2010

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba plans to market the world's first 3D television that does not need special glasses later this year, a report said on Tuesday.

Toshiba and Canon Announce SED Flat-Panel TVs Launch Plan

Mar 08, 2006

Toshiba Corporation and Canon Inc. today announced that they will start the first stage of mass production of SED panels in July 2007 and launch SED TVs in the 4Q of calendar year 2007. SED, the Surface-conduction Electron-emitter ...

Toshiba to launch no-glasses 3D monitors

Apr 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Rumors are flying out of Taiwan. Those rumors claim that Toshiba is working on a line of 3D laptops that do not require the users to have 3D glasses on their face. The concept of no-glasses 3D is something ...

Recommended for you

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Neuroscientist's idea wins new-toy award

Apr 15, 2014

When he was a child, Robijanto Soetedjo used to play with his electrically powered toys for a while and then, when he got bored, take them apart - much to the consternation of his parents.

Land Rover demos invisible bonnet / car hood (w/ video)

Apr 14, 2014

(Phys.org) —Land Rover has released a video demonstrating a part of its Discover Vision Concept—the invisible "bonnet" or as it's known in the U.S. the "hood" of the car. It's a concept the automaker ...

User comments : 17

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

KillerKopy
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2011
Just 11500 dollars not bad, I'll just refinance my house then I'll have the money to get one.
h20dr
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2011
I imagine they will stay expensive for some time to come until some competitor steps up with something better. I am sure they will license this technology to some companies. Looks cool though, I would like to see it. Next up the holo-deck- like on Star Trek.Too bad the article speaks nothing of the actual viewing experience. I already wear glasses so putting 3D glasses on over them has not been optimal for me at the theater.
eddieVroom
5 / 5 (6) Sep 04, 2011
"The user pushes a button on the remote control, which"

...befuddles 98% of America.
Nik_2213
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2011
98% ?? Given that most controls seem to have as many obscure menus and functions as a Japanese digital 'sports' watch, a gray-on-gray manual fit only for recycling plus networked upgrades that never appear, perhaps the 'Human Interface' crew could take note and include a BIG button marked 'SCAN ROOM'...
btb101
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2011
if the experience of the DS is anything to go by, i would defiantly suggest everyone tries before you buy.. for a good couple hours..
personally i think i will wait to see what the public say about this before taking the plunge.
Crucialitis
4 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2011
"Glasses-free viewing may change the tide of disappointing sales figures."

If they're measuring against past performance when people would buy a television to watch cable, they're going to be disappointed.

When 3Dtvs started coming out, they were lauding how there'd be dedicated 3D channels. Fast forward to today, and cable television is about as important to me as landline telephone - meaning neither are in my home.

I want 3D content, it's just not practical yet.

If netflix, hulu, and youtube can show 3D content on this, excellent. But then again, I won't be buying an $11,000 computer monitor.
JS85
5 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2011
There is a variety of display methods for simulating three-dimensional views that use only the stereo views, where different images are delivered to the left and right eyes. One problem with these stereo viewing technologies is that the perception of depth does not depend only on the disparity between the images in the left and right eyes. Rather, the perception of depth is also influenced by the ability of the eyes to focus at different distances and by the changes in parallax that occur with small head movements. Consequently, the three-dimensional perceptions produced by stereo display may be preceived to be fake 3-D. Furthermore, the stereo displays may cause unwanted stress on the eye muscles as the eyes constantly change focus trying to accommodate conflicting depth clues.
canuckit
not rated yet Sep 04, 2011
Yeah, great but the sound that comes out of Toshiba TVs is horrible.
ZachB
5 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2011
Great. Another smoke-screen to veil horrible tv programing. Yeah! (waves small pennant)
pokerdice1
3 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2011
@crucialitis The article mentioned that this Toshiba TV can "upscale 2d content to 3d content". So perhaps it would enhance Youtube, Hulu and Netflix. My conjecture is, though, it will have the paper overlay effect that the DS suggests. Hopefully the software can detect parallax cues and add that into the upgrade algorithm to enhance the realism, but I don't think it will.

All in all this is a really exciting harbinger of things to come especially if bigger and better upscaling algorithms can deliver enhanced content "on the fly".
Thanos251
not rated yet Sep 04, 2011
I imagine they will stay expensive for some time to come until some competitor steps up with something better. I am sure they will license this technology to some companies. Looks cool though, I would like to see it. Next up the holo-deck- like on Star Trek.Too bad the article speaks nothing of the actual viewing experience. I already wear glasses so putting 3D glasses on over them has not been optimal for me at the theater.


Try wearing contact lens so that you don't have the limitation of glasses. Why would someone wear glasses when contact lens is available is beyond me.
PPihkala
not rated yet Sep 04, 2011
Try wearing contact lens so that you don't have the limitation of glasses. Why would someone wear glasses when contact lens is available is beyond me.

Fortunately for me I don't need any glasses myself, but I think that contact lenses still have the potential to harm one's eyes, by abrading them and preventing oxygen transfer. Normal glasses don't. Oh, and the infection risk is there also.
Magnette
not rated yet Sep 05, 2011
I imagine they will stay expensive for some time to come until some competitor steps up with something better. I am sure they will license this technology to some companies. Looks cool though, I would like to see it. Next up the holo-deck- like on Star Trek.Too bad the article speaks nothing of the actual viewing experience. I already wear glasses so putting 3D glasses on over them has not been optimal for me at the theater.


Try wearing contact lens so that you don't have the limitation of glasses. Why would someone wear glasses when contact lens is available is beyond me.


Not all of us can touch our eyes to put the contacts in or remove them. It's a strange and squeamish thing but that's just the way it is so I'll stay with the glasses.
Interestingly, our local cinema provides 3d glasses designed for glasses wearers. They are actually a very modern design and don't look too ridiculous.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2011

Try wearing contact lens so that you don't have the limitation of glasses. Why would someone wear glasses when contact lens is available is beyond me.


Because contact lenses are a pain in the butt.

First thing is putting them on and off, which is uncomfortable and requires careful hygiene. Second thing is the dryness and the bloodshot eyes that results from prolonged wear, third thing is that they move around constantly and you have to blink to get it to settle back right again so you can see straight.

Try taking a nap with contacts on, and then blink like an idiot to get it unstuck from underneath your eyelid.
Magnette
not rated yet Sep 05, 2011
I imagine they will stay expensive for some time to come until some competitor steps up with something better. I am sure they will license this technology to some companies. Looks cool though, I would like to see it. Next up the holo-deck- like on Star Trek.Too bad the article speaks nothing of the actual viewing experience. I already wear glasses so putting 3D glasses on over them has not been optimal for me at the theater.


Try wearing contact lens so that you don't have the limitation of glasses. Why would someone wear glasses when contact lens is available is beyond me.


Oh, and I'm short sighted in one eye and long sighted in the other....there's bound to be days when I'd get the lenses in the wrong eye.
Ricochet
not rated yet Sep 13, 2011
Or supersensitive eyes like mine, that if I don't get it in by the 2nd try I might as well forget it because my eyes have gone instantly to looking like I'm stoned, drunk, been up for a week, and still can't get enough caffeine... Add to that the fact that I have astigatism so have to have the Toric lenses, which are noticably larger than regular contacts, and even more annoying to my eyes.
Ricochet
not rated yet Sep 13, 2011
As for the 2d-3d conversion, I wonder if they're using a system similar to http://make3d.cs.cornell.edu/
I don't know how long it takes the algorithm to render a picture, but if it's fast enough it could just do the trick.

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...