Chill Everybody! Let us not overreact, and here is why:
Hardly a week passes without some great new 3D statistics (see here, here, and here for examples) or announcements by major players (see BBC. CBS, or Orange). At the same time there are also a lot of sceptic commentary from media executives, producers, research companies and consumers. So, should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of 3D? And why are there so many divergent views on the matter?
I think at this point it makes sense to take a look at the classic hype cycle, a “graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and social application” (Wikipedia) of technologies. The research firm Gartner coined this term and this memorable chart.
My point here is not to convince you that 3D is at one particular stage or another today. To be honest, it would take a good analyst to locate the respective positions for 3D cameras, 3D TVs, etc. No, my point is simply
that it is completely normal to see so many ups and downs in a new technology. Yes, there will be the sceptics and the people who have vested interst in 3D not succeeding (typically larger players who are adopting change at a slower rate) and there will also be the optimistis (typically start ups and new players who are completely vested into this new technology – like me for instance).
Compare this to the stockmarket. On every given day you will see many reasons to buy or sell a stock and you could easily spent your whole life analyzing. But, what are the “fundamentals” behind this trend. So let´s look at what really matters, and, hint, it is not any particular announcement:
1. 3D Cameras
are becoming more and more commodized (cheaper)
2. 3D Channels
are acquiring new content fast; are being launched in most larger markets before Christmas season
3. 3D TVs
are becoming more and more commodized and the manufacturers are starting to offer content along with the TVs.
4. 3D Content
there is plenty of it, and there will be much much more (see here).
So, let us all chill, and look beyond the weekly flood of 3D announcements. The third dimension is here to stay and the best response to negative news is to look at Gartner´s hype cycle and to refer to the reaction to Color TV in the 1960s.