In case you've missed the advertising blitz, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung have all begun selling 3-D TVs this summer, and in June ESPN launched the first 3-D channel, with World Cup soccer as its inaugural offering. The relative few people who've had the opportunity to watch the new sets are raving about the picture quality. As Panasonic's VP of 3-D technology Peter Fannon says, "I'm delighted to say the damn thing works." But for all the legitimate advances in screen technology, engineers have yet to solve 3-D's Achilles' heel—the dignity-stealing eyewear needed to trick your brain into registering depth. In fact, stylistically, the new generation of glasses seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Bulky, plastic specs replace the simple cardboard and cellophane frames of yesteryear, and cost up to $180 each. Panasonic calls its 3-D glasses "active-shutter eyewear." The darkened lenses are battery-powered to flash in sync with images on your TV, and come in one size—humongous—with a detachable rubber nose bridge that sometimes sticks to your face when you remove the glasses. Like I said, the tool factor is hard to ignore.