February 2, 2011

Insert Super Bowl-related post here

It is an axiom of journalism that one should try to take the moment’s biggest story and bring it home for local readers. This is why you get headlines like “96-year-old grandmother attended first-ever Super Bowl, wants to go back” this time of year. 

So, what is there for the 3D industry at the Super Bowl? Glad you asked. 

First up is a company that’s using 3D imaging to put your face – yes, your face – on an NFL collectible. The wittily-named iAM 3D (get it? I am 3D?) “will provide fans attending Super Bowl XLV the opportunity to participate in NFL and 3D imaging history.”

3D imaging history!

All of the details of how you can make this happen are here. You can also buy 3D figurines of your favorite players, created using the scans that EA Sports made to put these guys in the Madden video game. But those are kind of ugly. And you don’t want those. You want a figurine with your own face on it! Of course!

Actually, I’m sure this cute little girl’s parents are pretty psyched to have the collectible. The video also gives you a feel for how they’re doing the 3D (using a bunch of arrayed cameras, rather than a laser scanner):

 

Hey, if you’re going to spend a ton of cash on going to the Super Bowl, you might as well spend another $150 or whatever for a cool take-home (I guess – $150 is pretty frickin’ steep). Regardless, it’s great publicity for 3D imaging in general. People see it, and they think about the possibilities. If you can put my kid’s face on a football player, what else can I create? Etc.

Of course, the Super Bowl itself will not actually be broadcast in 3D. And I agree with Popular Mechanics that this is a good thing. Stereo 3D still isn’t a very good experience in my opinion, and maybe never will be. For example:

Four hours is a really, really long time to watch anything in 3D. We recently tried watching 3D TV for this long, and we emerged from the test with eye strain, nausea and a general lack of joviality. Mix this nausea with Super Bowl staples such as chips, beer, pizza and Buffalo wings, and you have a recipe for disaster—or at least an unfortunate mess.

Makes you want to run out and buy one of those 3D TVs doesn’t it? Considering kids in America watch like 7 hours of TV a day, I’m hoping there aren’t many people with 3D TVs out there with young children. Kids puke enough as it is. 

At least there’s an official NFL Android app that features a 3D tour of the stadium and much of North Dallas. I’m an iPhone man, myself, so I can’t say I’ve tested the thing, but these guys seemed to have difficulty getting it to work. Other sites didn’t seem to have a problem, but they all mentioned a long load time for all that 3D data. 

Regardless, you’ve got to be happy to see something as mainstream as the Super Bowl embracing 3D imaging technology. It’s good for the market.

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