3D TVs? Not For Me

Koreans watching 3D TV

South Korea is poised to launch a broadcast network in full HD 3D. Lots of TV manufacturers are touting 2010 as the year of 3D. I think this effort will fall flat on it’s face just like it did in the 50’s and again in the late 70’s. While there continue to be innovations eliminating the need for funky red and blue glasses, the added value of 3D is slim to none.

I saw the Disney film UP at the theater in 3D. The glasses were fine and the movie was enjoyable. I was in awe at the beginning of the film with the increased depth. The movie was playing the 3D effect up with characters that lunge towards the camera to jolt the audience. But near the end of the film I noticed the 3D less and less. After the initial wow factor, 3D was more of a gimmick rather than an aide to the telling of the story. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the same part of the brain that processes 2D images, also handles 3D images.

The technology behind 3D video still needs to improve to become as seamless as human vision before we’ll see a big pickup in the consumer electronic industry.

The New York Times Is Preparing For The Future

With all of the turmoil about the future of journalism, the New York Times is taking a proactive role in staking out it’s future in what might be a newspaper-less world. Today the company released a downloadable Adobe Air application that brings together the immediacy of the online world with the serendipity and browsing of the physical world. See a video demo of the application in action.

Times Reader 2.0 Front Page

The Times Reader 2.0 is a slick product with an advertising and freemium business model. The tool offers some sections for free, like the front page, while charging $14.95 a month for access to others. John Biggs from Techcrunch is thinking about making the switch to all digital from paper delivery which is costing him $40 a month in Brooklyn. I’m curious as to how many people will put up with a seperate app dedicated to news sitting next to their web browser and e-mail client. And how many will be willing to shell out $15 a month for the same content that is already available for free on their website.

I think this is the first step to the New York Times setting up a pay wall like the Wall Street Journal. Unlike the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times looks to be pushing a monthly fee over a micro-payment business model which will ultimately fail.

The other interesting idea involved the Research and Development group at the newspaper. First off, the fact that a large media company has a R&D group boggles my mind but it totally makes sense to tackle the new technology that will be shaping their business in the coming years head on. Second, the New York Times is very interested in making their content work on the slew of portable media devices that are popping up everywhere like netbooks, the Kindle, and mobile phones. The video below taken by the Nieman Journalism Lab shows how they’re experimenting with e-ink readers and figuring out how their content will work on devices that aren’t even invented yet.

The future of media is not a single medium with one or two supporting business models, but one with many outlets tailored to different devices with just as many different ways to monetize it. The New York Times is building the infrastructure to handle this, it’s the smaller news outlets that are going to have a tough time adopting to this new, fragmented world.

Obsessable.com Is Worth Obsessing About

The newest gadget/technology site to hit the web is Obsessable.com, which launched earlier today. Now you might be thinking “Who needs another gadget blog?” but it is more than just the latest news. Obsessable aims to be the resource for consumer electronics covering news, reviews, and detailed product information. It’s like a blog/product database for all your mobile, imaging, home a/v, computing, and gaming needs.

Obsessable Homepage Screenshot

Probably my favorite feature is the Comparators. Like the name implies the Comparator lets you compare several products side by side through a slick, scrolling interface that is jam packed with vital stats. The first example of this thing in action is for 6 HDTV’s. You can add or subtract groups of stats that you care about. In the case of the HDTV’s that would be things like data connectivity and physical specifications. After finishing constructing a table of all the data you want it would be nice to be able to print it out so you can take it with you to a store. I’m sure this feature is coming.

Obsessable Comparator

The team consists of many former Weblogs Inc. writers. Evan Blass and Barb Dybwad formerly from Engadget, Emily Price from Download Squad, and Randall Bennett who I use to do a podcast with over at DVGuru.com. These are just some of the names I recognize from the Obsessable’s staff roster.

Obsessable is clearly aiming to be a top contender in the personal gadget space that is already ruled by Engadget and Gizmodo. There is also the as of yet unannounced site gdgt from the masterminds behind the top gadget blogs Ryan Block and Peter Rojas. But in the world of gadgets, many sites can co-exist. In fact it makes gadget reporting better because every site keeps the others in check.

I can see Obsessable is only at the begininng and can’t wait to see what else it has in store.