Most of us follow the latest 3D News on Twitter (@3DContentBlog); But from time to time it makes sense to take the “big picture” view. So, where does the 3D industry stand today?
On the consumer side there was a report saying that 3DTV owners are watching 3D content at least once a week but the glasses remain an issue. I was also impressed by a wrap-up of the Hollywood movie summer season. 7 out of top 10 (and the top 3) most successful movies were 3D releases. Great slideshow here (Thanks @Blerime for finding this). More stunning is the fact that 3D films account for 45% of total Box Office in the U.S. (down from last year) and 60-70% internationally. A good article with data on many individual markets on variety.com. We are certainly looking forward to Titanic, Star Wars and the many other 3D titles in the pipeline.
Despite the success at the movie theatres, 3D TV take up remains sluggish – so it seems. However, the 21 million 3D enabled TV sets that will be sold in 2011 still represent a quicker rate of adoption than HD TV. Clearly, more and more larger companies are announcing 3D plans.
On the content side activities by red bull media, the U.S. Open, and more details on the London Olympics were most notable in the past few weeks, plus a new production company that will supply more 3D content to BSkyB. There are also new countries popping up on the 3D landscape. Lately new players in Norway, Finland, Israel, Italy, Australia and Latin America emerged.
On the technology side, more device manufacturers are joining the 3D fun – especially handheld devices and mobile phones. Most notably MasterImage 3D claims to have an autostereoscopic Nintendo 3DS competitor with 500% better alignment accuracy in the making. I can’t wait to see this live. And of course, there is still a lot of buzz about the iPad 3, hitting the stores next year, being 3D enabled. Meanwhile the work on standardization is continuing (now also by the ATSC) and the industry is beginning to consolidate (3ality acquisition).
So where DO we stand? In my opinion, with more content coming to 3DTVs from Hollywood and traditional TV production houses the problem of lack of 3D content will solve itself. Obviously, the prices of 3D enabled devices will continue to drop and their take up will increase. Just wait for the Christmas sales! Lastly, the rate of innovation f the industry is slowing – and this is a good thing for everybody. I am preparing to write a slightly more “academic” article on this topic soon.