If you are interested in a 3D TV for your home but hate the idea of having to invest in a set of glasses for everyone who walks through the door, Toshiba has a solution for you. The company has debuted a 55-inch 3D TV that can be viewed from a wide range of viewing angles, without the use of 3D glasses.
The new 55LZ2 was demonstrated in Berlin at the IFA show and it sports a pretty neat way of delivering 3D video to viewers without the use of bulky, uncomfortable glasses. The basic idea behind 3D images is simply that a different view is delivered to the user’s left and right eyes. Your brain does all the heavy lifting to actually create the 3D illusion by putting those two images together, creating depth.
The way Toshiba is tackling this with their new sets is to use a ton of small lenses to direct two different views of the same image in a bunch of different directions. This means that your left and right eye should get a slightly different view, thus creating the illusion of depth. Tada! 3D without glasses. This concept seems great but how does it address the idea of multiple viewers in different positions and different distances from the screen? The 55LZ2 divides the viewing area into nine regions so that multiple users can see their own 3D images.
The actual smarts in this set that make everything work is interesting. In order to use the 3D, a button must first be pressed on the remote, which initializes face-tracking software. This software determines the locations of users in the room and adjusts to best deliver all of those viewers their 3D images. The screen resolution on this thing is 3840 x 2160, which definitely helps push out 3D with no glasses to all of those viewers. That resolution would make this a nice set to use with a computer as well.
The 55LZ2 will also include “Toshiba places”, which is the company’s cloud based service that allows users to rent or share video. The set itself can also record video and save it to a hard drive connected by USB, which is a cool if not slightly creepy feature.
The 55LZ2 will debut in Germany in December. We’ve contacted Toshiba to see if we could get some information on other regions or prices but haven’t heard back yet. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this thing is going to be really expensive. Toshiba is going to keep selling their lower priced 3D TV models that use glasses, so expect this thing to be well above the price range of those sets.
Does the thought of not having to use the silly glasses make you more interested in 3D TV or is it just not a technology you care about having in your home?