3D Video

Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
3D video is not an entirely new technology, having been around in the film industry for many decades. However, the technologies that deliver this immersive form of video viewing are improving. New cameras, better viewing glasses, projection systems, software and displays are starting to bring 3D video into its own at the consumer level, enabling new forms of creative expression and imaging. 3D video requires the capture of two images simultaneously, the same way our eyes do. Once captured, this dual imagery must be displayed or projected in a way our eyes and brain can resolve enough to be believable with the assistance of specialized eyewear. New LED-based systems that do not require special glasses show considerable promise, but currently require a very precise viewing angle. Consumer displays and televisions that support 3D technologies began to appear on the market in 2010.

Video is rapidly expanding its reach online and is valuable for many teaching situations. However, 3D video and telepresence takes this form of media to the next level, allowing unprecedented immersive experiences and communication that can give students a real sense of what an object, environment or group of people might be like. Such applications in the education arena include exploration of remote locations and visualization of complex objects such as molecules or engineering projects. 3D video could be a new platform for creative endeavors such as filmmaking as well.

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

  • YouTube is experimenting with showing 3D videos, which could pave the way for more adoption at the consumer level.
  • The University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies is developing a one-to-many 3D video teleconferencing system.
  • Sound Video Systems now offers AVRover, a mobile 3D projector system for classroom use.

3D Video in Practice

For Further Reading

Giz Explains 3D Technologies
(Matt Buchanan, Gizmodo.com, November 12, 2008.) The gadget website Gizmodo gives an overview and explanation of 3D video technologies past and future.

Nokia Research: 3D Video and The MVC Standard (PDF)
(Nokia Research, research.nokia.com, May 2009.) This report outlines Nokia’s research efforts at bringing 3D video to handhelds using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) extension.

What Consumers Think of 3D
(Nick Dager, Digital Cinema Report.com, January 16, 2010.) This is a short summary of two reports about 3D video technology. The reports themselves are expensive, but the summary gives a good overview of what people think about 3D video.