XpanD 3D, Panasonic Team For New 3D Standard

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New York - XpanD 3D began licensing today a new active-shutter 3D standard developed with Panasonic, called M-3DI, that is intended to bring about compatibility among 3DTVs, computers, home projectors and cinema projection.

XpanD chief strategy officer Ami Dror told TWICE the first licensor of the M-3DI standard is founding partner Panasonic, soon to be joined by other founding partners including Changhong, Funai, Hisense, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sanyo, Seiko Epson, Sim2 and Viewsonic.

"The idea is to allow you as a user to buy a pair of glasses for a Philips TV, for example, and take them to an XpanD cinema, or use them to watch 3D on a friend's Panasonic TV, etc." said Dror.

The standard uses two-way technology to allow communication between glasses and components. Once a user puts the glasses on, the glasses will recognize which brand and model component the user is viewing and will allow the user to adjust certain parameters, such as rate of transition time and dark time, to address user issues such as ghosting and brightness.

The parameters can be adjusted using a PC or through an XpanD app on a handheld device.

The bones of the standard are a combination of XpanD's existing 3D protocol and Panasonic's protocol, so the glasses will only work with certain brands of existing active-shutter 3DTVs on the market.

"Most of the same companies behind the original HDMI standard are behind the M-3DI standard," he added. "The licensing starts today for the founding partners, and we expect, starting tomorrow, other big-name companies to join in and start licensing the technology."

Participants in the standard making will publish the specs of the standard and will organize quality-control testing and approval procedures.

Dror predicted the first wave of CE products incorporating the M-3DI standard will be available in approximately six months.

The proponents of the M-3DI standard believe that this program, as an industrywide initiative, will make a significant contribution to accelerate penetration of 3DTVs, computers and projectors. While the M-3DI standard to be licensed at this time uses IR communication technology, RF communications will be considered for future versions.

The cost of licensing terms are "very small, a few cents per unit," Dror said. "We don't anticipate that this technology will add anything to the cost of a finished product. It's not a profit center. This is a group of companies who care about the user experience, who want to make things simpler for the consumer. That's the only goal here, that, and educating the consumer about the superior quality of active-shutter 3D."

Asked about the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA)

recent call for an industrywide 3D standard

, Dror said. "The CEA is in the phase now where they are accepting proposals. This will be one of the proposals and with all these established companies behind it we expect, or at least hope, this is the technology chosen."

"We are excited to be joining XpanD 3D and the other participants of the M-3DI initiative to make FullHD 3DTV even more widely accessible," Hirotoshi Uehara, director of the television business unit, visual products and display devices business group of Panasonic's AVC Networks Company, said in a statement. "Joining forces with other 3D product manufacturers to standardize active-shutter 3D eyewear will help ensure that consumers have a superlative 3D experience at home and in the movie theater. This is a major step toward creating truly universal 3D eyewear."


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