AU Optronics (AUO) plans to start shipments of glasses-free 3D products, mainly for IT (notebook and monitor) products, in 2011 and expects glasses-free 3D technology to become mainstream technology in 1-2 years.

Shipments of 3D TVs in 2010 were lower than expected at only about 3.2 million units, and shipments in 2011 are expected to exceed 10 million units as technology continues to improve.

Current 3D technology is divided into with and without glasses, and the technologies for glasses include shutter glasses and polarization glasses. Samsung Electronics, Sony and Panasonic are supporters of shutter glasses technology, while LG Display and AUO support polarization glasses technology.

AUO noted that the company supports polarization glasses technology because polarizer 3D panel prices are about double the price of a normal TFT-LCD panel.

AUO estimates that 3D TVs will account for about 6% of the total LCD TV shipments in 2011. Based on the estimation of 215 million LCD TVs in 2011, 3D TV shipments are expected to reach 13 million units.