The future is shown — in 3-D 

DVDs, video games and cameras in 3-D were showcased by several technology companies from across North America in Burlingame recently, and these businesses are calling their new toys the future of entertainment.

The exhibitors at the 3D Biz Ex conference displayed some new toys last month that should be available in stores in 2008.

Among them were high-quality lenses that allow users to view HD programming with more colors and higher resolutions than past 3-D movies — all, of course, while objects pop out at them.

"No matter how big the screen gets or how high the resolution gets, you never feel like you’re in the action. With 3-D, you do," said Ethan Schur of TDVision Systems in Illinois, which makes 3-D video games and cameras.

There were even glasses that allow people to view a movie through its lenses without needing a TV or DVD.

The glasses create an illusion that you’re watching a 48-inch HDTV from seven feet away.

A lot of the products will be available in early 2008 at major retailers such as Fry’s and Best Buy.

Like most new technology items, however, they won’t be cheap. The 3-D video game attachment for a PC will be $500 in January.

Later in the year 3-D attachments will be offered to coincide with consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Some of the 3-D titles, such as major Hollywood children’s movies, are available in 3-D now in a very limited capacity, but the companies at the event said they expect a major push to be made to market these new items in the spring.

As a result, more titles and 3-D-compatible TVs, which will come with glasses, will be available in major chain stores.

Hong Choi, chief technology officer of Kopin Corp. in Massachusetts, which makes 3-D eyewear, said many movie studios like DreamWorks are championing in 3-D as the future of motion pictures, too.

"3-D is the future of movies, there’s no doubt about it," said Nicholas Routhier, president/CEO of Sensio in Montreal, which makes decoder chips so people can watch 3-D DVDs on TV. "People have always wanted 3-D but it was always too complicated and too expensive.

All the pieces of the puzzle are now together."

Other products on display were a portable camera that could record video in 3-D and a display screen technology that would allow people in a conference to view presentations in 3-D on a 10-by-40-foot screen.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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