3D Videoconferencing, Courtesy of Panasonic
Panasonic – a company known more for its consumer electronics prowess than its enterprise applications – has added 3D to its HD Visual Communications system, offering an advanced depth of field ideal for any situation in which that extra dimension would be helpful.
3D HDVC, unveiled at CES 2011, features full HD 1080i video and 360-degree audio, and is aimed at verticals such as education, health care and manufacturing – markets in which videoconferencing doesn’t always work because of the 2D nature of the technology. (Imagine yourself as a doctor trying to remotely direct a surgery in progress – the flatness of traditional 2D video can make seeing certain critical yet minute aspects of the surgery difficult, if not impossible.)
Although the technology doesn’t sound like true 3D – no glasses are needed – Panasonic has developed a special lens for the video camera that provides the added depth to the picture. It’s definitely a plus for certain situations, but at this point I don’t know how well the technology will be accepted in typical videoconferencing situations.
Still, props to Panasonic for being first to give us that extra viewing “pop.” I expect other more enterprise-focused vendors to follow up with their version of 3D videoconferencing within the year, but until then, I’ll be interested in seeing which verticals adopt the 3D technology. VARs, too, should keep their eye out – there could be some interesting new opportunities with this technology.