We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: 3D glasses aren’t cool. But 3D is, and that’s the payoff. Watching 3D isn’t about things leaping out of the screen any more. It’s about making more of what we watch now. It’s the equivalent of going from black-and-white to colour. Done well, it makes you forget to shut your mouth. That’s cool.
And yet we keep coming back to the glasses. They’re a barrier. People don’t want to wear bulky, ugly specs in their living rooms. Or in the cinema.
It’s a fair call. You probably didn’t want a massive CRT television taking up half your living room, but you put up with it when you had to, and most reasonable folks’ll make the same concession for 3D glasses. In time, they’ll become thinner, lighter, more stylish and less embarrassing. Eventually, we might not need them at all.
Last week, we ran a story about Oakley making a pair of 3D specs inspired by Tron: Legacy. The glasses combined big name eyewear with an appeal to the inner geek in all of us – the geek who’ll sit through Tron: Legacy with his specs happily perched on his nose.
Since then, we’ve seen Gucci and Calvin Klein follow suit, but without the element of fun that comes from hooking up with a cult sci-fi classic. Both fashion houses have opted to sell their 3D wares as the alternative for the style conscious 3D viewer when in reality, they’re jumping on a bandwagon without knowing where it’s going.
They’ll sell a few pairs – probably to people who’ll spend more time wearing them in front of a mirror than an LG 47LD950. If you really want to show off how recession-proof you are, you could fork out the £100-plus on a pair just to go to the movies with.
But you’d be missing the point. You’d be missing out on a bit of televisual and cinematic history. You’d never be able to bore your grandchildren with stories about the days when we all had to wear glasses to see 3D. And you wouldn’t be able to laugh off their goofy original form.
It’s all just a little bit of tech history repeating, but 3D is bigger than most gadget-based revolutions. It’s happening right now. We’re all living through it. And we should all wear our clunky, mishapen 3D specs with pride. They’re much cooler than the designer alternative.