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Toshiba shows off glasses-free 3D TVs

Toshiba has shown off a pair of 3D television sets that it reckons don't require the twonky special glasses to give viewers the 3D effect.

Unveiling the boxes at the Ceatec electronics show in Tokyo, today, Masaaki Oosumi, president of Toshiba Visual Products said it was "obviously more natural to watch TV without glasses". He's not wrong there.

Toshiba uses a lenticular panel on the screens to create the illusion of depth. Nintendo is supposed to be using a similar technology in its forthcoming 3DS toy.

The technology creates the 3D illusion at particular viewing points, so the living room audience has to be well placed to get the dubious benefit of 3D.

According to the BBC, Tosh said the viewer should sit about 90cm (35in) from its 20-inch set to enjoy the 3D or about 65cm from the 12-inch screen. This is about the distance from the TV that your mum used to tell you would ruin your eyes. No doubt the 3D effect will have her in fits.

The viewers - or at that distance, more likely 'viewer' - will have to sit bang in front of the box.

A more credible report from IDG says the custom screen beams the signal to nine sweet spots around the room and makes no mention of unfeasible viewing distances.

The tellies are powered by the Cell processor which debuted in the PlayStation 3 and will go on sale in Japan in December.