BERLIN--Without a doubt, 3D has garnered the most buzz here at IFA this year.
Many of the biggest names in consumer technology are pushing not only 3D cinema, but watching 3D movies and playing 3D games at home.
Earlier this week, Sony CEO Howard Stringer promised Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3, and laptops that will be "3D compatible" next year. Panasonic used the upcoming James Cameron flick "Avatar" to push its "Full HD 3D" idea, and Nvidia and JVC are also showing off monitors and TVs that will make even PC video game playing three-dimensional.
Despite their obvious enthusiasm for the idea, so far there isn't much evidence that consumers actually want 3D in their homes. Most people are still getting used to paying extra to watch it in the theaters while sporting a pair of plastic spectacles, and some still complain that it's hard on the eyes to watch anything in 3D longer than 10 minutes. So why are gadget makers so excited about it?
Because of two factors: First, people are watching 3D films. The box office totals of recent hits like "Up," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," show that there is indeed interest in the format.
But most of all, the companies that make consumer electronics see it as something else to sell that will distinguish their brand from the rest of the pack and from what they currently have at home. Blu-ray prices are coming down and the format is now solidly successful. And HDTVs, which became a must-have item, are becoming a commodity as well. Manufacturers are always on the lookout for some new twist that will compel users to upgrade, and for now, that appears to be 3D in the home.
Some trepidations And while there is a race to be first to have a hit product for 3D at home, not everyone is onboard. Both Philips and Toshiba say they have tested the waters of 3D at home, but say it doesn't feel very inviting just yet.
In their massive booth here at IFA, Philips is showing prototypes of their 21:9 ultrawidescreen TV and a Blu-ray player, both of which are 3D-capable. Yet, interestingly, they have "no immediate plans to launch any commercial 3D TV products in the short term," the company said during their press conference Thursday. The technology, they are freely admitting, "isn't quite there."
Toshiba executives are voicing the same concern.… Read more
Golden Autumn 3D Screensaver is an attractive program that lets users view a coming autumn scene on their desktop. Although a few aspects of the graphics could be better, overall, this is a very enjoyable program.
The screensaver starts and users are transported to a parklike setting that is full of turning trees. A soft rain falls and gentle music plays. We encounter various points of interest throughout the park, such as a gurgling fountain and ducks swimming in a canal. The program made us feel relaxed and a little wistful. Our only disappointment was that the colors of the … Read more
BERLIN--Shelled out several thousands for a Philips Cinema 21:9 television? You'll be pleased to hear it's obsolete.
Philips has bumped the firmware and added a micro polarizing lens to the screen, to create a prototype 3D TV.
The TV gets its tri-dimensional input from a prototype 3D Blu-ray player. Philips said Thursday at IFA 2009 that it's "actively participating in the 3D specification work of the Blu-ray Disc Association."
But hold it right there. Amid the 3D arms race--which has all the major manufacturers at IFA insisting that 3D is the next big thing--Philips … Read more
BERLIN--We're here at IFA at the Sony press conference, where Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer reckons the "3D train is on the track--and we're the ones to drive it home." 3D is Sony's big push, but we're more interested in the announcement of a movie-download service for PS3 and PSP, via the PlayStation Network.
Sony has announced its first 3D-compatible Bravia LCD TV, to arrive in 2010. It promises a high frame rate and 1,920x1,080 pixels per eye to give what Sony describes as "high-definition, high-quality 3D images." 3D-enabled Blu-ray … Read more
3D TV? Augmented reality in your contacts? The world is getting awesome. Unless you have an Xbox 360. But it's birthday season too. fourty years ago today, the first bits were sent over the nascent Internet. One year ago today, Google gave out comic books to announce Google Chrome.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1055
Happy 40th birthday, Internet http://www.boingboing.net/2009/09/02/happy-40th-birthday.html‘
Google Chrome turns one http://www.pcworld.com/article/171301/google_chrome_turns_one_a_few_questions_and_answers.html
Gmail outage causes sky to burn, rivers … Read more
TextTwist 2 is a fun and challenging word game that contains a variety of different puzzles. There's a little something for everyone here, and lovers of word games will find hours of distraction.
The program's interface is sleek and attractive, and users can easily access the various games, as well as options and instructions. The program contains several variations on the word-scramble theme, including Untimed, Timed, Word of the Day, Lightning, and Crossword games. In each game, users are presented with a jumble of letters, which they must then rearrange into words. In several of the games, users … Read more
Super Collapse Puzzle Gallery 4 is a fun and addictive puzzle game. Stay away from this one unless you have time to spare, because it's hard to stop playing once you start!
The game's premise is simple enough: each puzzle is a grid filled with different colored squares, and the object is to get rid of all of them. When a user clicks on a square with at least two squares of the same color adjacent to it, all those squares disappear, and any that were above collapse downward. Users must systematically select which groups of squares they'… Read more
It's really a good thing that Bejeweled Twist only has a 60-minute trial period. Otherwise we'd still be playing it instead of writing this review. In fact, we may have ended up playing it all day. It's that addictive.
We are used to high quality games from PopCap, and Bejeweled Twist is no exception. The graphics are absolutely outstanding, some of the best we've seen. The optional music and sound effects are fun and add to the game. Although we had never played any version of Bejeweled before, we were racking up points in no time, … Read more
Mirror Magic is a puzzle game that's harder than it looks. Although it seems to be marketed toward children, we found it to be quite challenging.
The premise of the game is that Grendoline, a beautiful woman who is bitter about her aging face, has locked a bunch of townsfolk into mirrors. Our heroine, Iris, has to free everyone by solving a series of puzzles. Each puzzle consists of two seemingly identical images with five subtle differences. Users have to identify all of the differences before time runs out. As users move through different locations in the village, complications … Read more