The Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) is attempting to get a head start on standardizing 3D glasses. Remember Beta and VHS
? How about the more recent debate of HD-DVD versus Blu-ray
? It will be so convenient to have a one-size-fits-all set of specs for those 3D spectacles.
Attempts to set standards for electronic technologies go as far back as 1906. The International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC) is the international organization that develops and publishes international standards
for all electrical, electronic,
and related technologies. The current foray into emerging technologies is aimed at the three dimensional craze and the target is the much maligned 3D glasses.
CEA is asking consumer electronics manufacturers to submit proposals for standardizing 3D active eyewear that uses an infrared (IR) synchronized interface. Brian Markwalter, CEA vice president of research and standards said:
"The expanding presence of 3DTV in the home makes the need for interoperable 3D glasses more urgent than ever."
The Consumer Electronics organization has committees
involved in many areas, such as audio, video, television data systems, antennas, portable and in-vehicle electronics, and residential systems.
Recently, the IEC issued an international standard
related to chargers for smartphones. It covers the connector and plug, as well as safety, interoperability, and environmental considerations. It should result in a significant reduction of mobile phone-related electronic waste. Manufacturers won’t have to produce or ship a unique charger with each phone. Consumers will benefit as the standard is adopted industry wide by being able to use one charger for all their new phones.
Similar benefits are hoped for with standardized 3D glasses. The Consumer Electronics organization explains that there are three different types: anaglyph, passive, or active. Active eyewear requires a signal from the display to synchronize shutters in the eyewear with the images on the display. This can be achieved with light from an IR emitter or an RF (Bluetooth or ZigBee) transmission. They suggest that most consumer products have taken the IR synchronization path. The problem is that most IR synchronizing signals are proprietary, specific to one manufacturer, with no standardization across the board.
As an example, nVidia was known to package a pair of 3D Vision Discover glasses with the World of Warcraft
game as part of a promotion. These glasses, anaglyph in paper frames weren’t so glamorous.
Complicating matters will be other continuous and pulsed light emitting sources, such as IR signaling devices, including headphones and remote controls, and various sources of light, including sunlight, LED’s, and florescent.
The protocol must support a viewer switching between 3D and 2D programs. Tests will be conducted under different light sources and against both LCD and plasma displays.
If you are interested in participating in the working group or submitting a proposal, you have until end of business day, EST Thursday, to download the formal Active Eyewear Standards IR Sync Request for Proposal
(RFP) and return it to Alayne Bell, abell@CE.org, or call +1703-907-5267.
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