Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. says it is developing technology for a 3D television that won't require special glasses.

3d-tv-mip306x172

A man watches a 3D screen in Cannes, southeastern France. Viewers may soon be able to watch 3D TV without special glasses. (Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press)

Company spokeswoman Yuko Sugahara confirmed such technology was in the works.

But she declined to comment on a report in the Yomiuri newspaper that the Tokyo-based company plans to start selling the new TVs by the end of the year.

Toshiba's new TVs will be a world first in offering glasses-free 3D, according to the nationally circulated Yomiuri.

The technology involves transmitting different images at various angles to create an illusion of dimension and depth, and watching the 3D images won't be tiring on the eyes, it said.

The 3D TVs now on sale, such as those from rivals Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp., require glasses.

'Many people don't like to wear glasses to watch TV for a long time.' —Yuko Sugahara, Toshiba spokeswoman

Electronics companies have been investing heavily in 3D technology for televisions, betting that people will want a 3D experience at home following the success of blockbuster movies like Avatar, which was screened in 3D.

Some gadgets like handheld game machines from Nintendo Co. can deliver 3D images without special glasses, but bigger technological hurdles must be cleared for televisions, which are viewed from farther away than portable game machines.

"Many people don't like to wear glasses to watch TV for a long time, especially people who must wear 3D glasses over regular glasses," said Sugahara.