Panasonic seeks support for M-3DI universal 3D glasses

One of the major reasons why 3D television manufacturers have been struggling to get consumers on board is the pricey and proprietary glasses that many of the sets require in order to view 3D programming. Overcoming expensive proprietary equipment in favor of standardization is, however, part of the growing pains that many industries experience, and now Panasonic is working to take that step in every facet of the 3D market.

Panasonic and XPAND 3D have partnered to develop M-3DI, a standard of active-shutter 3D glasses that will be compatible among 3D devices across several platforms including TVs, computers, home projectors and cinema systems.

“M-3DI eliminates confusion, provides a strong, uniform performance standard and ensures that manufacturers can concentrate on innovation and consumers can count on interoperability,” says XPAND 3D CEO Maria Costeira. “Now, with M-3DI glasses, consumers can enjoy the most advanced, immersive 3D experience in XPAND 3D cinemas, on the laptop or in the workplace or school! We are pleased to join the other participants in M-3DI to ensure that the amazing potential of 3D is achieved in every imaginable 3D application.”

M-3DI already has support from several major 3D TV, monitor, and projector manufacturers who have agreed to implement the standard, including Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Seiko Epson, and Viewsonic. However, there are some influential names that have yet to sign on, such as Sony, Samsung, and LG.

There is also already a fairly large competing standard that M-3DI is going up against. RealD has been making its way into cinemas since 2005, and currently bills itself as “the most widely deployed 3D projection system in the world.”

And detail on just how much M-3DI might benefit consumers is sparse. Panasonic and XPAND have not revealed how much their standardized glasses will cost or if they will be more ruggedized than what is now available. Currently, outfitting a family of four with 3D specs starts around $400 dollars for a product that is pretty fragile.

Until glasses-free 3D displays mature, a good standard might be the best that 3D fans can hope for. Current glasses-free models are pricey and have a very limited viewing range, making them impractical for most 3D adopters.

Would an industry-wide standard for 3D glasses make you more apt to adopt the technology at home? It’s definitely more appealing than the proprietary choices that we have now; however, the need to have the glasses at all still seems like a hassle in my opinion.