3D hits critical mass…at least in our minds

Future of 3D at CESStill high off the heels of watching Avatar, we at the Lab are eager to see some of the 3D products to be featured this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yes, everyone knows Avatar probably changed the future of filmmaking (with a good old fashion love story to boot). James Cameron’s dedication to pushing the bounds of filmmaking have paid off with over a billion dollars in revenue since the film opened on December 18th. And filmmakers and audiences will thank the director for years to come.

Now that Cameron proved it is possible in theaters, it’s time to see what is 3D’s future on the small screen, and in digital out of home. At CES this week, we’ll be checking out all the latest in 3D solutions for televisions. Meanwhile, Next3DTV has unveiled its broadband 3D service launching in Q1 of 2010. For consumers with the dough to spend on upgrading to a 3D set, Next3D TV will deliver all 3D content all the time. Even ESPN has announced a new 3D sports network set to kickoff with the first FIFA World Cup match in June. The push to 3D is moving faster than we expected. Still, as CNET blogger John Falcone, notes there are three challenges for the future of 3D on the small screen. 

It will be interesting to see how the 3D hustle plays out among consumers. Will they upgrade to new sets, just a couple of years after investing in high end HDTVs? Or will they opt for connected TVs hitting the market, such as Vizio’s Connected HDTV? These connected TVs will bring consumers more choices than ever before in terms of VOD, Netflix on demand, Facebook, Twitter, and other social viewing features. At the Lab, while we love the fun, engagings elements of 3D TV, we also believe connected TVs provide the technology that will push functionality forward in the living room, and provide marketers with the ability to achieve the true promise of hyper-targeting. If 3D is a tough sell in this economy, or if connected TVs steal the show, then it is likely that gamers will be the audience that likely pushes the technology forward at home–they are a demographic willing to spend the money on augmenting the gaming experience and 3D makes sense on this platform.

However, where we would like to see marketers, brands, and DOOH companies spending more resources is in the outdoor video screen space.  There are endless opportunities to engage consumers outside the walls of the movie theater or their homes using 3D content. But, someone has to invest in the content, and the DOOH networks have to support it. To this end, the Lab has partnered with Newcast TV–a promising 3D company and DOOH network. To support the promise of 3D in DOOH, Newcast reports a 283 percent sales lift for a Johnson & Johnson execution done in Latin America (see chart below). And best of all: You don’t need glasses.

Newcast 3D TV sales lift case study