3-Dtelevision without the dorky red-and-green glasses may reach consumersas early as five years from now, according to an engineer at LG Electronics.

The company showcased its 42-inch 3-D-monitor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and said the technology will be rolling out later this year for use in advertising.

The technology could be commercialized to the consumer market in five to seven years, said Tae-soo Park, chief research engineer for the optical systems group at a research lab in Seoul, Korea.

The images on the television are not truly three-dimensional in the sense that you can walk around and see the image from the other side like a hologram. Instead the viewing angle for the images is an arc of about 30 degrees in front of the screen.

The demonstration television uses autostereoscopic technology. Stereoscopic art, where illustrators and photographers create the illusion of depth by merging two or more images from slightly different perspectives, has been around for centuries.

LG's 3-D television uses 25 different perspective views to show one image.

The cost to produce content and the newness of the technology in video applications mean it will take a while before the televisions have a practical home in consumer markets, said Park, who has been working on the technology for three years.

"The cost of producing the video is 34 per cent more than standard video," he said.
But it could be used for commercial applications such as find-your-way maps, advertising and other signage.

Saleem Khan is reporting live from the Consumer Electronics Show