While 3D TV programming and movies have not caught on as widely as the studios have hoped (OK...not at all), 3D itself has always been popular in areas where having the third dimension is helpful in one way or another. One area in which depth information can impart significant insight is in science.
When we hacked our Superfocus glasses so we could see Anna Kournikova in 3D, we did not anticipate that they would also be perfect for looking at all of the really cool 3D science stuff available on the Web, stuff like scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of metal and bone and videos of nanomanipulators. However, nothing is as cool as an SEM of fly parts (head, eyes) and spider bits. Recently, a Japanese research group developed a scanning electron microscope capable of showing a 3D image in real time. Not only that, they coupled it to a high-resolution no-glasses-needed 3D monitor.
Everyone agrees that 3D is cool, but the future of 3D is totally dependent on how quickly display makers can come up with inexpensive ways to eliminate the need for wearing those goober-fying glasses in order to see the effect. The good news is that that day is coming. Readers who want to get a jump on the rest of the world can get a glimpse of it at this year's SIGGRAPH.
Our next 3D project will be to try to make our own stereo images with the microscope we rescued/restored last year. Not quite sure how we are going to do that, but we have our best people working on it :-) [Permalink] - SEM in 3D