by Matt Writt
Last night I was watching TV with my girlfriend when a commercial for Tron: Legacy came on. We were wondering if the Pink Palace IMAX theater would be showing it. (For the record, it doesn't look like it.)
Anyway, this led to a conversation about how ubiquitous 3-D entertainment is becoming. Avatar — the highest grossing film of all time — was largely seen in 3-D, stores have 3-D TVs on display for holiday shoppers, and sports in 3-D is now a reality.
It occurred to me that the shift to 3-D over 2-D is similar to the shift from mono to stereo in audio reproduction.
There are some obvious parallels: Stereo sound seeks to reproduce how we hear in the natural world — our ears hear things slightly differently and we can therefore determine a sense of distance and direction. Our eyes determine depth and distance the same way. 3-D technology gives each eye a separate "channel" of information to replicate the slightly different points-of-view our eyes see in the natural world. (Which is why 3-D stuff looks weird without the glasses and even weirder if you have the glasses and close one eye.)
Will 3-D reproduction become the standard the way stereo audio is?
And just for fun...