'Naked Eye' 3D TV cool, but still fuzzy on the details

cheaper ways to view 3D TVLeave it to the Japanese to figure out a solution to our most vexing tech problems. Annoyed that you have to pop for $150 to $200 glasses just to watch your newfangled 3D TV? Check out the "naked eye" 3D television.

Sure, 3D television is in its infancy and right now there's no real reason to get a 3D TV unless you're gadget-crazy, but televisions that have 3D technology to the naked eye will save families $150 to $200 for special 3D glasses. However, it may cost them $20,000 ... or they will have to remain in one constant position to watch it.

Newsight, a Japanese manufacturer, is using parallax barrier technology on its new 70-inch television, although so far aren't releasing prices, according to DigiTrends. The new technology is a device that goes in front of an LCD screen, and carefully placed slits allow each eye to see a different set of the image or pixels, creating a sense of depth without the glasses. The parallax barrier technology is also being used by Sharp Electronics for its mobile 3D touchscreens and Nintendo intends to offer its naked-eye 3D game system, Nintendo 3DS, within the next year.

The only problem? The viewers must be in a very specific position to see the 3D effect, which means there's probably only a couple precise places to sit and get the full effect. Which means it probably won't work for a large family or that Superbowl party.

The parallax technology is new, but other manufacturers have committed to lenticular lens technology, or multiple lenses to create the illusion of depth. So far TCL, Samsung, NEC and Philips are creating their lenticular lens versions. However the biggest problem isn't about viewing but price. Chinese manufacturer TCL is selling its model for $20,000.

As I have mentioned before, 3D television isn't a necessity -- especially when it can make sensitive viewers sick, dizzy, have seizures or strokes, and could be a danger to pregnant women, according to Samsung. So perhaps it's time to wait out the technology until we know what we're getting -- and whether it's something we really want.
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