CES Diary: I have found the Holy Grail - and it´s in Vegas!

06 Jan 2011


People travel to Vegas for many things. Gambling, debauchery, and the real sickos come to see Celine Dion shows. Me? I come to find the gadget Holy Grail every January at CES, and this year I think I've found it.

6. I have found the Holy Grail and it is in Las Vegas.jpg

The doors of CES haven't even opened yet, but from the preview events, press conferences and pre-show buzz one thing has stood out, and surprisingly, despite the number that've been launched, it's not a tablet.

Glasses-free 3D TV. No, hear me out. This is 3D TV for those who never wanted the geeky glasses, and it's finally becoming a reality. Toshiba's preparing to demonstrate the first prototypes of its glasses-free 3D TV, and they're whoppers, measuring up to 65 inches across.

The technology, known as auto-stereoscopic display, is already sneaking into 3D camcorders, photo frames and of course, the upcoming Nintendo 3DS games console, but this is the first time it's grown beyond 10 inches in size.

The bad news is Toshiba's prototype glasses-free 3D TV will stay that way for some time. Toshiba is warning that I'll have to wait until March 2012 to buy one, and even then they'll be weighing in at a considerably smaller 40 inches.

But the prospect is lip-smackingly brilliant. 3D films that don't need you to charge up glasses, sync them to the TV and then sit looking like Buddy Holly for the duration of a flick. The potential for immersive video games is fantastic too. Removing the glasses barrier will make 3D gaming feel more natural and mean game developers can dive deeper into the story-telling potential of the technology.

To say I'm excited about 3D TV you don't need specs for is an understatement, although one thing worries me: If this really is the gadget Holy Grail, what will I have left to look for next year?

CES Diary by James Holland