CES: 3-D Technology


Just when you bought your brand new LED high definition and were all caught up with technology, new innovations in how you watch TV could make that brand new purchase obsolete...or at least maybe eventually...

At the CES show last week, 3D technology was the big "new thing" among television vendors, a trend that has recently caught fire as a probable result of Avatar. The 3D viewing experience that Avatar provided movie-goers proved to be a gold mine for the film industry (already grossing over $1.3 billion) that it only made sense for companies like Sony, Panasonic and the like to jump on this bandwagon before it became too late. With these vendors anticipating an eventual tranisition to 3-D television, how will this effect the rewards marketplace?

Initially, not that much. LCD TVs costs have continually gone down in prices and have proven to be effective promotional products, even now. One thing that drives most new innovations in consumer electronics is content associated with new products. As of now 3-D television has limited content options. ESPN has made an agreement to broadcast around 85 sporting events (mainly soccer) starting in June and Discovery Channel has made plans to have a select few 3-D broadcasts.

Until 3-D  broadcasts see substantial increases in content, the main avenues for this technology will lie mostly in cinema and gaming uses. Avatar broke a lot of ground in how viewers experience a trip to the movie theater. As a result of Avatar's success utilizing this technology, more and more movies will be shown at theaters using 3-D viewing.

Gaming will also see a trickle down effect from 3-D technology. Some game companies (i.e. Ubisoft) are already incorporating 3-D using stereoscopic goggles, enhancing the playing experience for many gamers. Eventually 3-D should become a large component in games that involve augmented reality (AR), a tool that will eventually branch out beyond gaming into home shopping, GPS, training etc.

Where do you see 3-D fitting in best?