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The Year in Enhancing Reality

2010 saw an explosion of 3-D products for consumers and also the arrival of augmented reality as a mainstream technology. In both areas, however, only some commercial implementations proved ready for prime time.

3-D TVs, Cameras, and Camcorders Galore

3-D was a hot topic at the start of the year, partly because of the 3-D blockbuster movie Avatar, which came out last December. Many predicted that 3-D technology would move quickly from the movie theater into the home, and major electronics companies including Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, Philips, and Toshiba announced plans to release 3-D televisions and Blu-ray players ("Home 3-D: Here, or Hype?" and "Here Come the High-Definition 3-D TVs"). But obstacles—particularly the need to wear 3-D glasses costing upwards of $100 per pair and the limited amount of 3-D content available to watch (a handful of DVDs and few TV transmissions)—have prevented 3-D TVs from becoming wildly popular, at least for now ("Will 3-D Make the Jump from Theater to Living Room?").

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