Cameron Wants Glasses-Free 3-D For ‘Avatar’ Sequel

By November 1, 2016
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Now that we know for sure that 3-D films are not a passing fad like they were in the 1950s, the director who helped bring such movie viewing back into vogue wants to take it a step further.

A big step further. That’s because Avatar director James Cameron is pushing for 3-D … without glasses.

He shared his dream with reporters over the weekend when he was named an honorary member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. While he’s busy working on who knows how many sequels to his 2009 smash hit, Cameron told IndieWire he plans to really see how far he can take innovation when it comes to making films.

“I’m going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates – the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3-D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen – with no glasses. We’ll get there.”

Watching 3-D without glasses is not exactly a distant dream like warp drive or finally getting an Avatar sequel. Toshiba offered a television set that could provide 3-D without glasses, but struggled to get off the ground, because it depended on “tracking” a viewer to create the effect, meaning you virtually had to watch 3-D all alone.

Earlier this year, StreamTV Networks released a glasses-free 3-D television that uses “light fields and defractive indexes” that designers told Mashable reporter Lance Ulanoff that was like “the early stages of hologram technologies.”

Ulanoff had a chance to test out one of StreamTV’s sets in January on a 65-inch ultra-high definition television.

“When looking at the TV, I was able to move around in front of it without losing the 3-D effect. It’s not as immersive as, say, what you’ll see at the movies while wearing a pair of polarized glasses, but it was still pretty impressive.”

Can Cameron push for such technology in theaters? We’ll find out when the next Avatar film comes out. But then again, we’re still expecting warp drive to be perfected first.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.