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Panasonic unveils new 3D TV

High-definition televisions hitting shelves in 2010

OSAKA, Japan -- You've seen movies in 3D. Now, how about your favorite TV series?

Panasonic Corp. unveiled Monday a 50 inch high-definition 3D plasma TV and glasses that make images appear like you can touch them.

At a demonstration at Panasonic's head office in Osaka, F1 race cars roared right by viewers and gymnasts barreled down a runway, hitting vaulting horse and flipping toward the audience.

"We've introduced concrete plans to deliver the first 3D into people's homes. It won't disappoint," said Yoshiiku Miyata, Panasonic managing executive officer in charge of audio visual products.

He declined to comment on an exact release date or price tag, stating that the company hopes the new TVs will hit shelves sometime in 2010.

The technology works by tricking the brain into seeing 3D as high-speed shutters in the glasses work in sync with the TV to deliver a double layered image at twice the speed of normal TV.

"When the TV is showing the left image, the shutter closes the right eye so people can see only the left image," explained Keisuke Suetsugi, manager in charge of high quality AV development.

"And the next moment, when the TV is showing the right image, the shutter glass is covering the left."

The company hopes the smaller, more living room friendly 50 inch model will become a popular choice for home theatres than a 103 inch big brother that debuted last October.

The new model will go on display to the public at the CEATEC Japan tech show Oct 6-10.

Panasonic announced in August it will team up with Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment in the making of Oscar-winning director James Cameron's new 3D film "Avatar," set to open in theatres worldwide this December.

Chief rival electronics maker Sony Corp. announced earlier this month it also plans to launch 3D TVs by 2010.