Toshiba no-glasses notebook has a simultaneous 3D/2D display

The industry’s recent 3D push has mainly centered around whiz-bang theatrical blockbusters like “Avatar” and home entertainment viewing on big screen TVs – both involving those unanimously despised glasses. Recent progress in glasses-free solutions (such as the Nintendo 3DS handheld game system) could mean further implementation of 3D in a variety of devices utilizing smaller displays — such as computer monitors and laptops.

Toshiba’s upcoming notebook – the Qosmio T851/D8CR – is a novel first, boasts the company: a glasses-free 3D display that shows both 3D and 2D images simultaneously.

Source: Toshiba

Toshiba claims SpursEngine – a processor dedicated solely to image display – helps the Qosmio to display 3D and 2D images on a single screen, albeit in separate windows. This realization may temper the excitement of folks expecting something more sci-fi, but it’s still far removed from standard 3D screen technology where it’s all or nothing.

Glasses-less parallax 3D viewing is accomplished when two distinct images are sent to each eye, though with active shutter glasses a viewer’s eyes are less likely to require adjustment — a common criticism of glasses-free displays. Toshiba believes the notebook’s face-tracking functionality and Active Lens will help maintain the 3D effect even if the user moves their head.

It’s unclear just how such back-and-forth viewing of 2D and 3D images will affect users, however.

There was no shortage of debate on the merits and pitfalls of glasses-free 3D after Nintendo unveiled its 3DS portable — most sparked by the company’s own warnings.

Some worried it would cause vision problems and other ill effects in children. Trained medical professionals, however, stated that difficulty viewing 3D at an early age could predict future ocular ailments. The 3DS, in a sense, was a beneficial tool rather than debilitating device.

The Qosmio’s 3D feature can be turned off completely of course. But that sort of defeats the purpose.

No U.S. release date or price for the Qosmio has been announced. It’s scheduled for release in Japan this summer.

Plan on picking up the Qosmio pending a western release? Or are you lukewarm on 3D in general? Let us know in the comments section.