October 8, 2012

San D (1)

San D is how you say 3D in Mandarin Chinese. You see, that’s important to know these days. It’s because most of the interest in 3D entertainment and 3D TVs these days appears to be in China, followed by Western Europe and key emerging markets (Russia, Latin and South America, and the Middle East). Although TV sales across the world are generally in decline, some sources suggest upwards of 10-20 million 3D TVs will be sold in China this next year. I remember how high the interest was in 3D when I first spoke in Beijing at their first ever 3D Innovation Forum.

In the U.S., things are still different. U.S. sales of 3D TVs are lagging far behind. James Mathers, president of the Digital Cinema Society notes that, although “most major filmmakers have successfully embraced 3D,” 3D-ready TV sales are “abysmal” in the U.S. and “are only expected to reach the cumulative 7 million unit mark by the end of the year.” Norbert Hildebrand of Display Central (check out this website—it offers comprehensive one-stop information about all things 3D) agrees. He suggests that “the U.S. is actually a slow adopter of this new technology compared to other regions, like Europe and China. I also found it interesting that, during the well-attended 3D Entertainment Summit held in Hollywood in late September, one attendee observed that “Americans seem to have a bias against 3D compared to other countries.”

I continually get that same sense. Even in the education market. But I think the 'resistance' reasons are vastly different for the U.S. education marketplace. Educational 3D is not about 3D TV at all. In education, I think any perceived resistance is due to the tough recession facing schools (hopefully short-lived) and generational issues. By generational issues, I mean to say “kids want it.” Adults—not so much. Kids don’t mind the glasses—adults don’t know any better. For more background on this topic, please revisit my original post on this topic: On Youthful Shoulders. In the meantime, I still see innovators and pioneers in education showing keen interest in 3D. Don’t give up!

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