There’s no doubt that 3-D technology has come a long way. Back in the 80s there were those goofy red and blue glasses given at the theaters to help movie goers have a more personalized experience. Since then 3-D has seen many advancements. Designed to allow for a more intense experience, 3-D technology works by enhancing the illusion of the viewer’s depth perception. Different technologies have existed since the 1950s but there are a few varying kinds used today.

In 1983 Jaws 3-D was released. Cinema goers donned disposable polarized glasses so they could reap the benefits of 3-D special effects. Most of the scenes that demonstrated the shark’s destruction were filmed in 3-D. The film was well received because this was considered good technology at the time and it gave a fairly decent effect. Unfortunately the movie could only be viewed as 3-D in the theaters which is the reason why it was renamed ‘Jaws 3’ for home viewing.

Avatar, released in 2009, also harnessed 3-D technology much to the delight of its viewers. Many who saw the movie were amazed by the almost seamless transition from one scene to the next. The vistas looked breathtakingly real, and the actors’ emotions seemed more raw and unharnessed by the use of this technology. The movie has a riveting plot to begin with, but when coupled with 3-D it seems that it took on a new life of its own.

Even so, movie theaters aren’t the only places for 3-D anymore. Home theater systems are being manufactured that allow for the viewing of 3-D films and television shows. What’s even more interesting is that some of the newer ones no longer require glasses. Originally manufactured by Sharp, they are often referred to as autostereoscopic displays. While these early ones have been discontinued, other companies have picked up the technology. For example, Nintendo is currently working on an upgrade to their popular handheld system, calling it the Nintendo 3DS.

While 3-D has been around for quite a while, innovations are coming faster than ever before. More and more viewers are able to be absorbed into a movie or show because of this technology, and it seems that the sky’s the limit for 3-D as we continue moving forward.