Absolute 3D Visions gives India its first spectacle-free 3D screens

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | July 17, 2008
The company has launched 3D digital screens that can be viewed without special spectacles

Absolute & #BANNER1 & # 3D Visions, a part of the MM Group, has introduced the first 3D digital screens in OOH advertising. These 3D screens do not require the special viewing aid, the blue-red spectacles, normally required to view 3D moving pictures.

VS Veerasami, chief executive officer, Absolute 3D Visions (A3D), says, "3D screens work using two types of technology. Some companies use lenticular technology and some use barrier technology. A3D uses barrier technology and this allows the viewer to see the 3D image naturally. The technology subdivides the LCD image into complex repeating segments which, when viewed and then integrated by human binocular vision, presents 3D views of the scenes."

Veerasami has been in advertising for 22 years. He started off with wall painting, followed by digital signs with MM Digital Signs in Tamil Nadu.

Exploring the idea of launching something new in the digital signage world, he came up with 3D technology and started Absolute 3D Visions. Starting with lenticular static displays, A3D moved on to autostereoscopic 3D digital signage. Autostereoscopy is a method of displaying three dimensional (3D) images without the use of special glasses. It produces depth perception even when the image seen by the viewer is produced by a flat device. After three years, the first ever 3D display was launched at Coimbatore airport, Tamil Nadu, on January 18, 2008.

Veerasami says that the digital signage at Coimbatore airport was A3D's pilot programme and it had decided to launch the next 3D digital signage network in the next three months. Soon, it realised that the cost and time taken (for content creation for 3D displays) were too much for advertisers. The company finally decided to create its own 3D displays. The business model reworked, A3D, in addition to setting up 3D digital signage networks, also became a content creation company. It provides options to create full 3D videos or to adapt existing 2D videos to the 3D screens.

Veerasami says no one has bothered to enter and launch this technology because of the cost and time taken in content creation.

The 3D displays make images appear to hover mid-air, addressing the need for innovative ways to capture consumers' attention, build brand awareness and increase message retention. Advertising on these screens helps capture the moving audience easily, cuts through the clutter and reaches masses more easily and effectively. It's new, exciting and creates a 'wow' effect on the customers. Also, 3D itself is always a craze and, when people can see it without any 3D glasses, it creates excitement among all ages.

The challenge in this medium is the cost incurred. Veerasami says, "We strive hard to decrease the cost of the autostereoscopic 3D displays to about 50 per cent more than that of the ordinary 2D LCD screens. The time taken for creating content and the cost of content creation are also a challenge, but now we have a special team that creates the content very effectively and in a timely manner." While the company is in the process of finalising the costs, Veerasami informs that a 42 inch display will cost approximately Rs 1.5 lakh which includes the screen and the 3D software player.

A3D offers displays of varying sizes. It offers screen sizes ranging from eight inches to 60 inches. These screens can be used in theatres, malls, flights and wherever 2D digital signage exists. New Saravana Stores and Saravana Jewellers are the main advertisers using the 3D screens at Coimbatore airport. Diamond retailers, Kirtilals, also rented the screens to display a video, A Day with Kirtilals, for seven days.

A3D is in discussions with various advertising companies for tieups to establish a digital signage network for 3D screens in cinema theatres and multiplexes across India. It also aims at establishing new market opportunities in Brazil, West Asia, Malaysia and South Africa.

Veerasami says, "Our future plan is to penetrate into digital signage and replace 2D networks with 3D. We are now ready to bring alive the world of spectacle-free 3D display and capture both the OOH and retail sectors. By 2010, we aim to capture 30 per cent of the digital market in India and earn revenue close to Rs 200 crore."

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