A wide group of consumer electronics companies lead by Xpand 3D, a provider of programmable stereo-3D glasses that are compatible with various equipment, and Panasonic Corp., has announced that they have formulated M-3DI, a new standard for 3D active-shutter eyewear products that will bring about compatibility among 3D TVs, computers, home projectors and cinema projection.
“M-3DI eliminates confusion, provides a strong, uniform performance standard and ensures that manufacturers can concentrate on innovation and consumers can count on interoperability,” said Maria Costeira, chief executive officer of Xpand 3D.
The M-3DI technology provides a communication protocol between stereo-3D (S3D) active-shutter glasses products and 3D-capable TVs, front projectors, computers and cinema systems (Xpand-compatible theaters). The technology will let consumers enjoy the S3D experience across all types of compatible S3D displays as well as at movie theaters, with a single pair of 3D active-shutter eyewear. The M-3DI standard will also assure consumers of comprehensive quality control in the creation of their 3D eyewear; Participants in the standard-making will publish the specification of the standard and will organize quality control testing and approval procedures. While the M-3DI standard to be licensed at this time uses infrared communication technology, radio communications will be considered for the next step.
While the popularity of stereo-3D at home is projected to increase significantly, until now there has been limited compatibility among S3D glasses offered by various TV manufacturers, as they use different methods to communicate between the stereo-3D active-shutter eyewear and the 3D display. With the M-3DI standard, the participants in the standards process aim to make the 3D viewing experience more enjoyable and convenient, and to enhance the appeal of 3D entertainment among a wider audience.
The proponents of the M-3DI standard believe that this program, as an industry-wide initiative, will make a significant contribution to accelerate penetration of stereo-3D TVs, computers and projectors. While the M-3DI standard to be licensed at this time uses infrared communication technology, radio communications will be considered for the next step.
"We are excited to be joining Xpand 3D and the other participants of the M-3DI initiative to make Full HD 3D TV even more widely accessible. Joining forces with other 3D product manufacturers to standardize active-shutter 3D eyewear will help ensure that consumers have a superlative S3D experience at home and in the movie theater. This is a major step toward creating truly universal S3D eyewear,” said Hirotoshi Uehara, director of the television business unit at Panasonic’s AVC Networks Company.
The list of companies, who are committed to support the M-3DI standard includes, besides Panasonic and Xpand 3D, Changhong Electric, Funai Electric, Hisense Electric, Hitachi Consumer Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Seiko Epson Corp., SIM2 Multimedia and ViewSonic Corp.
Interestingly, the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association is also proposing industry players to create a universal standard for S3D glasses. However, with not a lot of success. The future of the M-3DI, without such large HDTV makers like LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corp. and many others is also not really bright. While the M-3DI will standardize S3D glasses for various manufacturers and will thus make them more affordable, it currently does not have chances to become an industrial standard. Moreover, it is unclear whether the glasses will also work on current stereo-3D HDTVs.