If 3-D television is in fact the future of home entertainment, that future may not be so very bright. In a recent Nielsen survey, consumers expressed a variety of concerns about purchasing 3-D TV tech, not least of which are the obvious complaints: there’s not enough 3-D programming, and you have to wear silly 3-D glasses to view the content that is presented in three dimensions. What’s worse: the numbers suggest that the more experience you have with 3-D TV, the less likely you are to buy one.
The survey asked a sample of prospective consumers how likely they are to purchase a 3-D television set in the next year. That cohort is split into two groups, one that had previous exposure to 3-D television sets and one that had no previous experience with the technology. Of those without previous exposure to 3-D, 25 percent said they are “very likely” to purchase a 3-D TV. Of those who had actually seen the technology previously, a mere 12 percent said they were likely to buy one—a number dropped by half.Those numbers aren’t particularly rosy themselves. But at the other end of the spectrum, things look even worse. Of those saying they are “not at all likely” to purchase a 3-D TV, 13 percent were unfamiliar with the technology. But a full 30 percent of those who had previously seen the technology in action have no interest in buying one.
If seeing the technology at work makes one less likely to purchase it, perhaps that’s a sign the tech isn’t quite ready for the marketplace. While most people are concerned with the high cost (68 percent), it seems concerns about the scarcity of 3-D content (44 percent) and the fact that current sets require viewers to wear glasses (57 percent) are hurdles the industry is going to have to overcome. Get more programming out there and figure out glasses-free viewing (something Nintendo's already pursuing with its forthcoming 3DS), and that first problem will likely quickly take care of itself.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.