Toymaker Hasbro (HAS) has announced a new iPhone/iPod Touch peripheral that will allow owners to watch content on their mobile devices in 3D.
According to an Associated Press report, Hasbro is unveiling My3D, a handheld device that basically looks a lot like a pair of plastic night vision goggles or binoculars with a slot that attaches it to your iPhone. My3D will run you $30 and will start showing up in stores in the spring.
Working closely with Apple (AAPL), Hasbro plans to bring special 3D app content to the iPhone and iPod Touch that will work with the My3D, and is working on apps for gaming, entertainment and travel. Apparently, the company has already developed content with LA Inc., which is the Los Angeles Conventions and Visitors Bureau, to create apps for 3D travel experiences of Santa Monica Pier and the city’s Wax Museum. Like other apps, those made for My3D will come in free and paid varieties.
Hasbro President and CEO, Brian Goldner, described the travel apps to the Associated Press as presenting a 360-degree environment as well as being 3D. That seems to suggest that firing up the LA My3D apps will allow a person to at least turn their head naturally to have the screen adjust what they’re seeing – basically as if the iPhone were a camera positioned at Santa Monica Pier.
Looking at the device, it all sounds… well, cool, but a little weird. It’s hard to say if Hasbro’s iPhone binoculars will be a hit – although the company is far from the only one that thinks 3D is the next big thing in entertainment.
The future is in 3D?
Movies in 3D are popping up with some pretty intense frequency in theaters, sure, but at the very least, Sony (SNE) thinks 3D TV is going to be huge in the very near future: hopefully accounting for between 30 and 50 percent of all the TVs the company sells. Sony has already signed up with Hasbro to bring 3D content to My3D, along with Disney (DIS), which the report says is looking to supply television programming content. IMAX (IMAX) is also in the entertainment pool, along with Dreamworks Entertainment (DWA) for movies such as MegaMind, which opens in 3D on Friday.
Sony also thinks 3D is about to revolutionize video gaming, and is throwing a lot of resources behind that idea for current and upcoming games on its PlayStation 3 console. Although, since Sony also makes the 3D TVs, the company might be a little biased.
Even so, if 3D home movies and video games take off, Hasbro’s in on the ground floor with the iPhone, which already is a big entertainment portal. Along with movie and TV show rentals and purchases through iTunes, there are a lot of apps that offer iPhone and iPod Touch owners the ability to watch TV on the very small screen. Most notable are Netflix and Hulu Plus, which allow users to stream movies and TV shows, respectively. And we all know how big gaming is on iPhone.
And, as the AP report points out, Apple has already sold 125 million iPhones and iPod Touches, according to Senior Analyst Shaw Wu at Kaufman Bros. L.P. And he expects that number to hit 200 million by the end of next year.
If the content is strong, Hasbro could have a great idea with My3D – and it’s possible the device could help shepherd in the new era of iPhone visuals, just as 3D is apparently taking over how we watch, play and interact with our screens everywhere else.