3D technology - now close to becoming mainstream with the movie industry - is slowing making its way to other, less obvious vehicles, as three recent announcements show.
One is by the London newspaper The Sun, which is planning to publish a 3D edition with 3D-color ads and editorial a week before the start of the World's Cup. It is the first national newspaper to run ads and editorials in 3D, according to MediaWeek, with advertisers having to pay a "significant premium" if they want their ads to run in 3D. Sun is going to advertise the issue during the month of May and plans to increase its print run by the thousands.
Another example is Sony, which has announced it will be producing its next-generation console games in 3D, according to TopTechReviews. Then there is Google's acquisition of BumpTop, an application to transform the desktop into a 3D interface. The acquisition brings some very innovative technology under the Google fold, writes Mashable. The technology makes the desktop more like a real desk by using three dimensions, icon piles, and photo pin-ups, it said. BumpTop's technology could be used in anything from Chrome OS to Android to bolster Google's interfaces, Mashable speculates.
A question common to all these announcements is whether consumers will be willing to make the necessary additional investments - 3D glasses for starters, new computers, TVs and consoles on the higher end - in order to see these images. When it is easy and inexpensive, companies are providing consumers with the necessary accessories. Instead of having to purchase them, Sun readers will receive a pair of 3D glasses with the paper.
The hardware to see games and television shows in 3D, though, will most clearly need to be purchased by consumers. For the games, TopTechReviews said, consumers will need a 3D TV with support for such games - as well as the new 3D glasses. Sony believes that by the mid of year 2012, more people will be purchasing things 3D TVS, it added. Until then publishers, broadcaster and game producers are going to make a leap of faith as they integrate these technologies. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, for example, will be filmed in 3D for the first Time - whether or not most viewers have bought the television sets.