CES: Oakley 3D Glasses

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CES Day 1:

Dan to Judie “3D TV is one of the big things this year… I just don’t get it.”

Judie to Dan “I KNOW, me either…”

Kevin (thinks, but does not say) “Phew, one less new gadget this year…”

CES Day 2, Morning:

Judie, Dan and Kevin spend time with Oakley to learn about, and experience 3D TV using their passive 3D glasses.

CES Day 2, Afternoon:

Dan to Judie “WOW, I take back what I said about 3D TV yesterday.”

Judie to Dan  “I was JUST saying the same thing to Kev… I WANT!”

Kevin (thinks but does not say) “I take back what I thought yesterday… We are going to need a bigger house.”

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We had a chance to spend some time with Oakley learning about and experiencing 3D TV using their passive 3D glasses. And it was after we had both admitted to “Just not getting the whole 3D TV thing.” The experience did change both our minds about the technology though, and all three of us walked away saying “I want…”

Here’s why.

To look at Oakley’s 3D glasses is to see a pair of stylish Oakley glasses. That’s it. They don’t LOOK like 3D glasses, but they are. In fact, the company reps made it clear that they do not recommend trying to use their 3D glasses for anything BUT viewing 3D TV. They made a point of explaining why claims of others that THEIR glasses can be used as both 3D glasses and sunglasses isn’t a good idea. Oakley’s 3D glasses are comfortable to wear and don’t cause the eyestrain that so many associate with viewing 3D content.

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Here is a bit of what we learned and why Oakley had us singing a different song by the end.

There are two main types of 3D glasses — active and passive.

Active glasses are powered. As a result they are usually heavy, they have to be charged and they tend to be platform and/or TV-model specific. In other words, if you forget to charge them they won’t work. And if you have one brand of 3D TV and your friend has a different brand, the glasses for each will not be interchangeable. Moreover, powered glasses will not work at the majority of 3D movie theaters.

Passive glasses are not powered. As a result they can be thinner and lighter, they never need charging and, often times, they are NOT device specific. That means if you have one brand of 3D TV that uses passive glasses and your friend has a different brand but it also uses passive glasses you can bring your personal 3D glasses to her house and enjoy her 3D TV and vis a versa.

In addition, because of the technology most movie theaters use, you CAN bring your personal passive 3D glasses with you to the majority of theaters showing 3D movies and enjoy the show wearing your own glasses.

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Which brings us to Oakley’s 3D glasses. Because they are passive glasses they are light and comfortable. Because they are from Oakley they are stylish. But there is more; the company has spent a tremendous amount of time developing glasses that offer an unprecedented degree of optical charity. Most 3D glasses create a 3D image that is highly distorted. It is difficult to describe the degree of the distortion, but it was demoed for us and it was shocking how much there actually was. We don’t realize this distortion is there because our brains correct for the distortion as part of processing the image. That is the reason why so many of us develop headaches or eye fatigue when viewing most 3D content for an extended period of time.

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Oakley has developed optics that don’t cause anywhere near the same degree of distortion. That means there is less eye fatigue, and the overall 3D experience is vastly enhanced. We saw a demo of a dramatic ski run in 3D using Oakley’s optics, and the three of us were blown away.

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Let’s be clear, as with all their products Oakley is positioning their 3D glasses in the premium space. They aren’t cheap, but the overall experience they deliver is worth the price. At least that was the impression the three of us were left with.

We began our visit with Oakley “not getting the point of it all”. We ended our visit with a chorus of “I want…”

And we do!

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