Italy-based technology developer Sisvel and imaging start-up 3DSwitch are promoting a device that gives your TV the brains to recognize automatically whether you’re watching 2D or 3D. The technology works by detecting if you’re wearing your 3D stereoscopic glasses. No glasses, then the TV switches to 2D.

“The glasses detection technology works in different ways depending on the TV screen’s technology,” says Dario Pennisi from Sisvel.

“For active glasses, given the already high cost of the glasses and [that] these already contain a battery and some electronics, our solution comprises a capacitive sensor that ‘feels’ the head of the viewer and uses this information to send infrared commands to the TV, hence the additional cost of this solution if basically zero.

“For passive glasses, the TVs have to be equipped with a camera that looks at the viewers and has some special electronics to recognize if they are wearing glasses and can differentiate between ordinary glasses and polarized glasses for stereoscopic viewing.

“In this case, of course, there is an additional cost on the TV which can be kept to a minimum as we use a technology similar to the one used on the Wii remote, which also uses a camera to sense the infrared sensor bar,” he adds.

Pennisi says all of the company’s technologies are intended for adoption by manufacturers and require products to incorporate them in order to work properly, but there's no word on exactly when the technology might materialize.

“We are not selling finished products but rather licensing our technologies to manufacturers.”

Pennisi added that his company was also producing an automatic format recognition and conversion system in order to remove the need for users to set up their TV each time a source format is changed, as opposed to HDMI 1.4 which does a similar thing but his solution doesn’t require upgrading the set top box or Blu-ray player.