Last year, when the first HDMI 1.4-capable 3D HDTVs from Panasonic started appearing on the market, the Japanese company did not have the best active shutter glasses available, but they are constantly improving on that. The second generation of active shutter glasses brought some of the needed improvements and now we are about to see the third generation of Panasonic active shutter glasses for their 3D HDTVs, namely the TY-EW3D3 series, expected to be available this September. The new glasses should be available in three sizes (small, medium and large) with a different product name for each, respectively TY-EW3D3SW, TY-EW3D3MW and TY-EW3D3LW (S, M and L). The small and medium models have a weight of just 26 grams and the medium will be one gram more at 27 grams, so you can expect these do be very lightweight. The glasses come with a built-in rechargeable battery that should provide you with up to 25 hours of continuous use with a full charge that is taking approximately 30 minutes, and there is a quick charge functionality built-in that can be quite handy. With just a two minute quick charge you can get up to 3 hours of use, so you can easily watch a whole movie in 3D even if you forgot to charge your glasses and they got discharged.
But the most interesting new feature built into the new TY-EW3D3 shutter glasses from Panasonic is the 2D mode that allows you to switch the glasses into a special mode showing you the 2D version of a 3D movie being played on the 3D HDTV. This is done by activating both shutters of the glasses to show you only the frame intended for the left eye, so that you see only the left eye image in both your eyes and the result is that you get to watch the movie in 2D. I’ve already demonstrated how this is possible with a pair of Nvidia 3D Vision shutter glasses a while ago and that it actually works quite well, but then again this solution also opens other possibilities like screen sharing in 2D mode for example.
The new active shutter glasses should also offer a 10% better improvement in terms of image brightness, meaning that the lenses of the glasses will block less light as compared to the previous models. It is interesting to note that the new Panasonic active shutter glasses are the first using the new M-3DI standard announced by the company not too long ago, so in theory they may be able to work with other non-Panasonic 3D hardware if any other company produces compatible devices with this new standard.