As I was saying just last week, consumer interest in 3D TV has fallen way below expectations so far. Part of that, of course, is due to the backlash against 3D from people who find it gimmicky or annoying. However, I will continue to argue that the greatest impediment to 3D TV adoption is the lack of 3D content to watch on it. This begs the question: What will be the killer app that finally gets people interested in 3D?
Both Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry seem to be banking on movies (supplied primarily by 3D Blu-ray players and discs) driving consumer adoption. That’s probably my greatest area of interest, but I’m not sure I agree that everyone feels the same. Most 3D movies can be enjoyed just as well (or better) in standard 2D. I believe that the true “killer app” for 3D will have to be something that delivers a compelling experience that blows away its 2D counterpart.
The folks over at Kotaku think that adult content (i.e. porn) will be that killer app. After all, pornography was a major factor in both the home video boom of the 1980s and the internet boom of the 1990s. However, I suspect that porn in 3D will be one of those concepts that sounds better in theory than it winds up being in execution. While 3D has the ability to make objects seem to extend out from the TV screen, it also often has the side effect of making those objects look smaller, which could hamper the fantasy. Then again, I’m no expert in this subject, so we’ll just have to see what happens here.
A lot of people are interested in 3D sports, but the need to wear 3D glasses and sit in a “sweet spot” position may be detrimental to the often communal nature of watching sports. If you have a dozen friends over for a Superbowl party, you’ll need a corresponding number of (expensive) glasses for them, and everyone will have to sit directly in front of the TV. That’s not going to work for many interested consumers.
Personally, I think that videogames may be the true killer app. Although I’m not much of a gamer myself, the idea of playing racing or First Person Shooter games in 3D seems incredibly compelling to me. Also, most gamers either play alone (or maybe in twos, but not usually more) in front of the television, and sit closer than your average TV/movie watcher. That should work out really well for the immersive 3D experience.
What do you think the 3D killer app will be? You can pick more than one option below if you want.