Toshiba has tossed some of the first glasses-free TVs onto the Japanese market, and let’s just say that things haven’t been going so well. Expecting to move 1000 units a month before international roll out, they’ve barely scraped past 500.
While many are quick to point out that 3D overall has been performing below expectations thanks to the sluggish economy and high prices, one could also point to the fact that the 20 inch glasses-free set, which runs at low resolution and requires the user sit in the sweet spot, just isn’t as attractive as the 50- to 60-inch full HD 3D TVs that can be had for significantly less money.
With larger glasses free sets close to a decade away from mass consumer pricing, frankly I don’t know why Toshiba even bothered doing more than using them as a booth showcase piece. There’s a reason why the larger experimental sets were shown in controlled situations at CES: the technology is just not ready. There’s a lot of crazy potential solutions for glasses-free out there, from motorized lenticular lenses that track the user’s positions like Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral to holograms, but one thing that’s for sure is that you aren’t going to be picking one up from your local Wal-Mart any time soon.