E3 Convention Highlights

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E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo, is an annual convention where the hottest video games of the year are shown. This week wraps up the 3-day convention for 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Tons of press conferences and interviews and demonstrations with game developers sadly draw to a close.

Are you wondering why YEW is talking about this, if we don’t even sell video games? Well, we want to know the trends in all generations of electronics and entertainment. That’s why we are bringing you just a few technology highlights from E3. Here’s a brief look at the coolest tech to look forward to:

Kinect Fun Labs

Microsoft has long been marketing the Kinect, motion-based technology for the Xbox 360, and announced many new games that will be integrated next year. But the most intriguing new feature is voice control. You’ll be able to speak dialog lines and issue commands and have game characters respond. The new Xbox activity is called Kinect Fun Labs uses both voice and new kinds of gesture control are available to Xbox Live members today.

The company also announced that Google’s YouTube is coming to Xbox and Bing will also be integrated. You’ll be able to search via voice command for content on Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and Live TV. For those of us that don’t have a gaming system, LG already offers Smart TVs for access to limitless content with many customizable applications, streaming movies and videos pre-loaded (with subscription and internet access). It has web browsing and services from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu and more. They recently announced AG-S110 3D active shutter glasses with liquid crystal technology to deliver images with virtually no ghosting or image trailing. It has a rechargeable battery for long lasting entertainment.

Playstation HDTV

At E3, Sony boasted that there will be more than a 100 games available in 3D this year. Almost all first and third-party Playstation exclusives showcased at this year’s show can be played in 3D. And so in a major effort to make 3D gaming more accessible to everyone, Sony has announced the Playstation 3D Display, a 24” LED LCD 1080p HDTV that will retail for $499 when it launches later this year. The price is a stimulating point because currently price is the biggest obstacle for 3D TVs, and electronic retailers like us will be anxious to see how the industry leaders react.

Sony also exclaimed that starting this fall they will be selling more affordable 3D glasses for $69 each. It is yet to be seen if these glasses will be universally functional on all 3D TVs. Besides that, this new TV has some impressive tech behind it. Sony’s Two Player Mode allows two individuals to see two separate fullscreen images using stereoscopic active shutter glasses synched to only one screen. Previously, during a co-op or two-player gaming session the screen would be split down the middle, hindering the total viewing area for each player. This way both people can play without sacrificing any screen size. You get a unique, immersive experience sharing “two” TVs in one because the images superimpose on top of each other. Few testers of the product did comment on subtle signs of ghosting. So, at this point it is unclear what level of development the model is and whether or not will be a persistent issue.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this technology of sharing screen images on the same TV using shutter glasses. At CES, the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas, NV earlier this year, Vizio presented their version of multiplayer mode.

Universal Glasses Front

More importantly, we predict the future potential affordability for 3D glasses. XpanD offers Universal 3D Glasses® for $129.99. They have been designed to have the broadest possible compatibility with today’s and tomorrow’s 3D. The XpanD X103 glasses work in combination with state-of-the-art LCD technology, high-performance software, and simple and comfortable lightweight frames to deliver games, movies, pictures, and graphics in the highest quality 3D. The fast switching speed is an active solution to no headaches, ghosting or eyestrain as associated with other 3D solutions.

Here is a list of 3D TVs and Projectors compatible with the XpanD Universal 3D Glasses (as of March 2011): Panasonic, LG, Mitsubishi (with compatible emitter), Phillips, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba

Microsoft is positioning itself with this Kinect Fun Labs technology to platform with individual developers or the general public in creating a community that invites innovation from everyone. Meanwhile, Sony may have success in popularizing 3D using its Playstation brand. This new morsel of gaming information from E3 helps drive innovative technology and entertainment industries. We can get excited how to use the capabilities of these technologies, versus traditional entertainment systems.

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