Three-dimensional (3D) TVs are expected to be commercialized in 2010. How much 3D technologies will advance? How will they be used for mobile phones and other devices? We asked these questions to Goro Hamagishi, who is a general manager of Epson Imaging Device Corp and has been engaged in the development of 3D displays for more than 15 years. (Interviewer: Hideo Anpo, senior editorial staff)

Q: What do you think about the current status of 3D displays?

Goro Hamagishi, general manager of Epson Imaging Device Corp
[Click to enlarge image]

Hamagishi: As for displays using special glasses, they are almost ready to be used at home thanks to 3D Hollywood movies.

On the other hand, in regard to displays that do not require glasses, some prototypes have just become sophisticated enough to satisfy general consumers in terms of image quality. And there aren't many applications for them.

Thus far, the focus of 3D display development has shifted from displays using glasses to two-viewpoint naked-eye types and to multi-viewpoint types. Though companies have not been able to find killer applications so far, they are now commercializing 3D displays using glasses because of 3D movies.

It is possible to make two-viewpoint 3D video from movies and TV pictures. And video games contain 3D data. It became possible to make 3D video in real time thanks to the improvement of processors. So, we can now tap the 3D display market together with the content industry.

Q: Even 3D displays using glasses reportedly have a problem that an image for one of the right and left eyes can be seen by the other eye (cross talk). And the displays and glasses need to be improved to enhance their comfort and safety.

Hamagishi: I think those problems have almost been solved by improving liquid-crystal shutters and polarizing plates. And further improvements can be made by advancing the development of devices. However, even if the performance of 3D displays is improved, problems such as motion sickness might occur due to the low quality of contents.

I am not engaged in the development of displays using glasses. But, in the case of 3D displays, not only displays but contents will influence the safety. So, it is important to evaluate both hardware and contents to enable to view 3D displays safely.

(Continue to the next page)