On Saturday night I did everything right.  I bought 2 tickets to the new movie Avatar online and assumed there would be a sizable crowd for the IMAX 3D showing, so I arrived 30 minutes early.  Close but no cigar!

When walking into the theater, I was greeted by a FULL HOUSE.  Oh there was room, in the first 3 rows- which you know were never meant to be used because there’s an aisle separating them from the rest of the seats.  I wonder why they do this and don’t put more seats there?

It’s like “Hey we know the first 3 rows are going to be horrible so let’s just push them down even more so there’s room for a walk-way.”

And it’s even worse if you’re at the IMAX version.  You can SEE the pixels on the screen! They are the size of coconuts!

Long story short we left. AMC was clever and got us into the non-IMAX (but still 3D) showing 10 minutes later.  They even gave me a cash refund of the differences in ticket prices. (Good job guys!)

So the movie was awesome. I could write for eons about it, but the topic of this post is not the movie itself but the technology: 3D.

The emerging trend was slapping me in the face, literally. A preview for Alice in Wonderland was our appetizer prior to the movie.  From the way text floated at different levels to the depth observed in even the simplest of scenes, 3D added a quality my eyes enjoyed.

But 3D is not new.  It’s been around since 1890, but the high production costs and lack of standardization kept it a fun niche.

Times are changing- and to be quite honest, with Avatar already out, the trend is well on it’s way.  I’m not one of the first to smell the smoke, rather, I just happened to wake up to the trend fire alarm.  From Google Goggles to super gaming environments, projects are underway.  Technology has caught up.

My (future) grandchildren will be shocked that I actually watched movies in 2D.

So knowing where we are with 3D development gives us a firm foundation to look into the future.  The first consumer 3D camcorder will be out soon and at $22,000.  This is the modern equivalent of the first desktop computer.  For a while, those with surplus will own it and rapidly soon there after, it will be a VCR.

Why stop/start with camcorder, there’s also:

  • Digital Cameras
  • Picture frames
  • Company logo signs
  • Maps / Museum guide spheres
  • TV
  • iphones / mobile
  • Pop-up digital books.
  • More more more more!

I predict a stage of infancy- much like the Palm Pilot. A clever idea with usability and fundamental flaws.  There will be skepticism, resistance, acceptance, financial analysis, and bubbles.

The end result will be a cultural change brought about by a technical revolution.

  • Tina

    WOW, I completely agree. The next phones may even have a 3D component, but perhaps they can also invent some 3D contact lenses so we dont have to fuss with the less than comfortable (and fashionable!) glasses.

    Just a thought…but I like where you’re going and can’t WAIT to see the future of this.

    Blog on my friend, blog on!

  • Tim

    The 3d definitely salvaged Avatar for me. I think it’s easy to underestimate the amount of work that the Avatar team put into making the 3d really pop, though. I’ve been to some other 3d movies but it was the particular work on Avatar that made 3d so good.

  • Barb O’Connell

    I agree that 3D is in its infancy stage. I just hope it doesn’t take as long the eBooks have. That is going way to slow for my taste although CES boosted my spirits a bit. But that’s a discussion for another post. CES was also good 3D personal viewing. However, I am really looking forward to true VR, so 3D is bringing us closer. 😉 Avatar certainly felt close to VR putting us in the environment of beautiful colors and fields of depth. I have to wonder if this is really good for every movie though. Will they “3D-ize” movies like they colorized them? What do you think?

  • Casey

    Yes! I think 3D will be the new color. With Avatar making $1 Billion so quickly and certainly more, studios are going to see the ROI on expertly done 3D. There will always be filler movies, but the top ones that have the strongest backing of the studios will have 3D included. It’s definitely an added draw for marketing, and movie theaters have handled the logistically quite well.