December 04 2010
You may have noticed that the Technopolis keypad has remained silent thus far on the subject of 3-D television. I have not, however, been inactive on your behalf. This year, I have been to the Emirates Stadium to witness Sky’s first live 3-D test, to Johannesburg to see Sony broadcasting the World Cup Final, to Isleworth for a briefing with Sky on 3-D, and to Berlin to see all the big TV manufacturers going bananas that 3-D is coming to our homes.
Despite the pressure, I don’t see quite what the big deal is. Literally don’t see it; I am one of the 12 per cent of the population, perhaps higher, that doesn’t have 3-D vision – a problem, by the way, which everyone in 3-D seems to hope will disappear. But I wouldn’t damn 3-D TV just because my eyes don’t happen to work in concert as they need to in order to make out all the stuff leaping off the screen; that would be like saying hi-fi is rubbish because you’re deaf. No, everyone with normal vision assures me that 3-D TV is extremely good, much better than the various attempts there have been to make it work in the past.
My 3-D scepticism has more depth. It’s the glasses thing. I just don’t think a sufficient number of people will have the patience and devotion – for that’s what it’ll need – to maintain a supply of 3-D glasses, unsat-upon and, in the case of the “active” electronic glasses, charged up, for every family member, plus visitors. Most of us can’t even find the remote half the time.
The 3-D glasses issue is even more of an obstacle for those who already wear spectacles. Or at least, until now. Enter the innovative London spectacle-maker Tom Davies, who, after I introduced him in How To Spend It in 2002, has gone on to make a global business of fashionable made-to-measure specs.
Davies, as you gather, has a knack of turning a problem into an opportunity. In the case of glasses, he realised that even upmarket off-the-shelf frames don’t fit many properly. Come 3-D, another Davies solution: these bespoke high-quality 3-D clip-ons, which he will make to fit your existing or new Tom Davies (natch) frames. With your personalised optical-standard clip-ons clipped on, you can see 3-D on TV or in the cinema without using those horrible thin plastic throwaway specs. And you even get to look cool.