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Coming in 2012: 3D Glasses That Aren’t Incompatible and Pricey

Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and 3D glasses maker XpanD have announced that they’re working together to design a specification for Bluetooth-enabled 3D glasses that will be compatible with HDTVs from all the above makers. They intend to ship them in 2012, and the glasses should work with existing 3D-capable TVs as well as new ones. It’ll eliminate the current hassle of having to buy glasses made by your TV’s manufacturer, and will presumably help to drive down prices for the specs.




Xpand's New 3D Glasses: Universal and Tweakable

Most of the glasses people use to watch 3D are one-size-fits-all models–and I’m not just talking about the size of the frames. They work the same way for everybody, and behave the same way no matter what sort of content you’re watching. It’s a little as if everybody who wore standard eyeglasses had to wear the same prescription.

Here at CES, 3D technology company Xpand is trying to change that, with a series of 3D eyewear it’s calling Youniversal. Like earlier Xpand models, the new ones are designed to be universal–you can adjust them to work with any TV that uses active-shutter 3D. But they’re also available in multiple sizes, and work with an app available for iPhone and Android that lets you tweak their performance for factors such as whether you’re also wearing prescription glasses, the lighting environment, and whether you’re aiming for a subtle 3D effect or want stuff to fly off the screen and smack you in the face.

I haven’t tried these new goggles yet, so I can’t vouch for whether they do indeed enhance 3D–but given that I’m virtually never happy with the experience I get from off-the-shelf 3D glasses, I’m intrigued with the idea. Xpand says they’ll be available in April, and that it hasn’t set pricing yet–but these are in addition to its current $129 model, and will offer better 3D at a higher pricetag.

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