The International 3D Society has announced over the weekend a merger with the 3D@Home Consortium forming the largest 3D organization in the world. In the past, the focus of the I3D Society has been to advance the art of stereoscopic content and to recognize the contributions of the technicians and artisans with accolades such as the Lumiere Award. Much like the Emmys or the Oscars, the Creative Arts Awards and the Technical Awards both hosted by the I3D Society are places where industry leaders from both Hollywood and Silicon Valley gather to acknowledge and reward outstanding achievement in creating 3D content. So, let’s change gears for a moment and consider the 3D@Home Consortium. According to their mission statement, the 3D@Home Consortium had a different focus. Mission Statement: “The 3D@Home Consortium was formed in 2008 with the mission to speed the commercialization of 3D into homes worldwide and provide the best possible viewing experience by facilitating the development of standards, road maps and education for the entire 3D industry – from content, hardware and software providers to consumers.”
On the surface, the two organizations have completely different concentrations. One is geared toward celebrating the people in the entertainment industry who create 3D content including those individuals up North who design the great gaming we enjoy. The other is more geared toward the consumer. How do these two seemingly dissociated visions intersect? To answer that question, this reporter went to the President and CEO of the International 3D Society, Jim Chabin and in an exclusive Examiner interview received the following answer; “We project that by 2016, more than 60 million 3DTV sets will be in the US market. Those screens will need 3D sports, movies, dramas, video games and other programs and content to display. By joining together, these 2 groups can accelerate 3DTV adoption, and provide the content consumers want to see.” In another statement, Jim points out that; “In no other field are creative artists and technology professionals so dependent on partnership and mutual support…this new group connects professionals and markets from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, to Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Brussels, and 20 other nations.”
While the average reader may consider this merger trivial and of little consequence, in the rather small world of 3D professionals, it’s huge. The new group will include more than 500 distinguished members representing over 60 companies including but not limited to; Walt Disney Studios; DreamWorks Animation; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Pixar; ESPN; BSkyB; Panasonic; XpanD 3D; Dolby Labs; 3ality Technica; IMAX; StereoD; National Geographic Cinema Ventures; CCTV China; Korea Telecom; Intel; THX; Microsoft; Technicolor; Samsung; Sony Electronics; and many others too numerous to list here all committed to producing and distributing high quality 3D content. It’s safe to predict that in the future, a majority of what you see on a screen will be in 3D.