Leading makers of notebooks – Acer Group, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Sony Corp. – are looking forward to release notebooks with stereoscopic 3D screens, a media report claims. While the initiative seems to be impressive, the actual impact on the market may be negligible in, at least, the short term.
Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sony are working with Taiwan-based Wistron on notebooks with screens capable of stereoscopic 3D image/video output, according to Taiwanese news-paper Commercial Times (exceptions from the article were translated by DigiTimes web-site). The systems should utilize stereo 3D technologies patented by Wistron itself, which is surprising. Acer is also looking forward a notebook with stereoscopic 3D screen, but it is working with U.S.-based DDD company on the project.
While the quality of stereo 3D technologies of DDD or Wistron is not clear at the moment, just like technical requirements of these technologies, it is certain that all of the aforementioned notebook makers (and stereo 3D tech developers as well) are planning to target high-end notebooks for gamers with advanced capabilities. But will the end-users take advantage of those notebooks? It seems that hardly, at least, in the short-term future.
The market of high-end desktop replacement (DTR) notebooks is not exactly high and presently this market is struggling due to global economic slump. It is still lucrative, but without mass production, any innovation make become a burden for its producer. There will be numerous consumers interested in stereo 3D-enabled mobile computers, but the technology is unlikely become mainstream.
While the cost of Wistron technology-based solution or DDD-developed technology seems to be low, advanced screens that produce stereoscopic images may require additional power and/or increase height of laptop, which does not add competitive advantage to such notebooks.
There are not a lot of video-games or movies that take advantage of stereoscopic 3D technologies in general. Without content, end-users will hardly opt for stereo 3D, especially on mobile computers.
On the other hand, it is known that consumer electronics makers are working hard to push stereoscopic 3D technologies onto the market in the following years. Their work may be useless without driving certain 3D stereoscopic technology to early adopters and technology enthusiasts. This may be the reason why Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sony are working on “3D laptops”.