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Toshiba Announces Glasses-Free 3D TV

October 4, 2010

Television viewers who enjoy watching 3D programming but hate those pesky glasses could soon be in luck, as Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba announced on Monday that they are preparing a liquid crystal television that doesn’t require any special eyewear to see the special effects.

The Tokyo-based company showed off the Regza GL1 series products, which they are calling the world’s first high-definition LCD 3-D TV that does away with the glasses, on Monday. The televisions, which they say will be for “personal use,” will come in both 12-inch and 20-inch sizes but will carry hefty price tags. The smaller model will cost $1,400 (120,000 yen) and the larger one will be twice that.

“Whether consumers embrace the new TVs remains to be seen,” the Associated Press observed in a Monday article, adding that some potential customers might be turned off by the “steep price tag,” and others because they will “have to be very close to the screen for the 3-D effect to really work.”

According to BBC News reports, “The televisions use a special lenticular sheet to create an array of nine overlapping images”¦ A viewer sees different images with each eye, creating the illusion of a 3D picture.”

The technology is being compared to the small, glasses-free, LCD touchscreens being manufactured by Toshiba rival Sharp for use in the Nintendo 3DS gaming system, which is scheduled to be released in Japan in February 2011.

Toshiba’s products are due out in late December 2010, making them technically the first to hit store shelves. However, the 3DS, which will also be able to play 3D movies, will be considerably cheaper at 25,000 yen, or approximately $300.

The BBC also reports that Toshiba is hoping to sell 1,000 units per month, and currently does not have plans to sell either of the Regza GL1 series TVs outside of Japan.

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