We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

The truth about 3D: Is it really ready?

We look at why the technology may not be as advanced as manufacturers claim

This year vendors are pushing expensive 3D displays, but the technology may not be as ready as they claim. We look at what's available and who needs it.


There will always be people who are driven to acquire the newest bleeding-edge technology, and those people have probably already bought a 3D TV. For the rest of us, it makes sense to wait until some of the kinks have been worked out of home 3D display technology.

The truth is that 3D isn't going to replace 2D - because there are plenty of reasons to keep 2D. It's practical, effective and above all cheap. Almost every 3D technology in existence today comes at a cost premium. Even when the costs fall, it will still be tougher to create 3D content - especially original 3D and not something merely resynthesized from 2D.

What 3D has done and will continue to do is create a small but significant market for specialty content. It won't eclipse 2D but rather will complement it - the way netbooks and the iPad are flanking and accompanying conventional desktops and laptops. And the move toward 3D that doesn't require anything but our own two eyes to see it means the adventure into a new dimension has barely begun.

See also: Revealed: the truth about the future of 3D TV

  1. Introduction
  2. The history of 3D
  3. A new technology emerges
  4. 3D: Who needs it?
  5. Gaming
  6. Conclusions
IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer