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Toshiba controls 3D with gestures

14 January 2010

Toshiba is seeking to stand out from the crowd after introducing a 3DTV interface which can be controlled by hand gesture, writes Adrian Pennington.

In a demonstration at CES, on-screen 3D graphics were able to be controlled for channel change, navigation and volume – all by spatial motions recognised by an infra-red sensor embedded in Toshiba’s new Cell TV.

Similar systems have already been shown by Philips and Hitachi, but Toshiba claims that the processing power behind its Cell TV sets it apart. The concept uses the powerful Cell broadband engine, jointly developed by Toshiba, Sony and IBM and previously used in advanced PCs and the PS3. It is said to double HD 1920x1080p resolutions to a whopping 3840x2160p, which Toshiba calls ‘4K 2K panel performance.’

Toshiba also claims that Cell TV will be able to convert any 2D source material into 3D on the fly, whether from Blu-ray, video game or TV signal. The company’s proprietary software TriVector will, it says, analyse the 2D frames and estimate the depth of each area in the frame, and then create separate stereoscopic images for each eye. The Cell TV 3D system has been designed for active shutter 3D glasses, delivering a 120Hz signal to each eye.

The first product in the Cell range, the ZX900 series, which also has a built-in 1TB HDD, 802.11n Wi-Fi and video phone capability, will hit the US market later this year.

“Creating a TV around the Cell engine has removed previous limitations and allowed Toshiba to create an ultra-premium TV that is also an easy to use home entertainment server,” said Scott Ramirez, VP TV marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products. “By combining the Cell engine with the new KIRA2 LED panel technology, our engineers have developed new levels of performance and functionality.”

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