updated 12:05 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011
Sales of glasses-free 3D TVs weaker than expected
Toshiba has sold about half of what it expected to of its glasses-free 3D TVs in Japan, said Masaaki Osumi, the president of Toshiba's Visual Products Company. Only 500 of the 20-inch, $2,490 set were sold in the first month and even less of the less expensive 12-inch model. Toshiba expected to move 1,000 of each model during their first month of sales.
Osumi continued, saying the company needs to offer larger sizes of the sets in order to boost sales. Technical challenges need to be overcome first, however, before the company can do so in the second half of the year.
To create the 3D effect without the glasses, Toshiba uses a sheet in the TV screen to angle images towards users' eyes. Sitting off to the side of the screen, especially a larger one, diminishes the effect. Many glasses-free 3D displays, including that on the Nintendo 3DS, have this same problem with a "sweet spot" but haven't received as many complaints due to the smaller size.