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ETC Whitepaper – The Current State of the Consumer 3D Experience

The ETC has published a status report: the current state of the Consumer 3D Experience.  The full report can be found here. The Introduction and Table of Contents are below.


The introduction of non-anaglyph, digital S3D as a consumer experience started with Disney’s Chicken Little in 2005.  But the 2009 theatrical release of Avatar, with James Cameron’s strong marketing of the 3D aspect of the feature, was the benchmark event that defined consumer expectations for a 3D experience.  Mr. Cameron and company also laid the groundwork for the rapid decent into the trough of disillusionment by telegraphing what consumers should expect before those expectations could be adequately met.  At that moment the production, theatrical exhibition, distribution, and consumer electronics technologies infrastructures were still being developed, and content creation was just ramping up.

The ETC’s Consumer 3D Experience Lab and Program has ridden the heart of the Hype Cycle; from a few years after digital stereoscopic 3D’s (S3D’s) launch in cinemas through the peak of inflated expectations, down to the trough of disillusionment, and now upward along the slope of enlightenment.  We are approaching, but not yet at, the plateau of productivity for 3D.

During this period, the ETC Consumer 3D Experience Lab gave over 170 tours and presentations to groups visiting the Lab (see Appendix 1), participated in over 21 conferences worldwide (see Appendix 2), gave a great many print, TV, radio, and podcast interviews.  Since the 3D Lab transitioned last year from a focus on demonstrations and presentations to one of news gathering, it has distributed over 2,700 news stories related to 3D to the ETC membership.

The Current State of the Consumer 3D Experience

By Philip Lelyveld

Program Manager, Consumer 3D Experience Lab / Program

USC Entertainment Technology Center

June 7, 2012


Table of Contents

Introduction            3

Theatrical 3D            4

3D TVs            7

3D Cameras, Laptops, Phones, Tablets            12

3D Gaming            13

Head Mounted Displays            15

Theme Parks            15

Other Markets for 3D            16

Conclusion: Looking Backward, Looking Forward            18

Appendix 1 – 3D Lab Presentation / Tour Log            20

Appendix 2 – 3D Lab Event Speaker / Moderator Log            21

Appendix 3 – 3D Audio            22

Appendix 4 – 3D Printers            24


[The full link to the report is: Due to size limitations it could not be posted on]


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