XpanD is a Slovenian company, providing 3-D shutter glasses to cinemas. Its glasses technology was acquired from Beaverton-based McNaughton Inc., also known as Nuvision. XpanD is owned by Sergej Racman, vice chairman of KD Group, a Slovenia-based holding company. Maria Costeira is CEO.
Shutter glasses deserve explanation. The glasses are battery-powered, employing LCD lenses that open for one eye at a time, allowing the left eye to see left images, and the right eye to see right images. They are triggered wirelessly by an infrared transmitter.
XpanD priced its glasses as high as $45, but says it will negotiate down. As with Dolby’s, glasses that are too expensive to give away require cleaning in between shows. Also similar to Dolby’s, XpanD’s glasses work with regular gain screens, and do not require silver screens, a feature which many exhibitors like.
XpanD’s strategy in the US has not been successful. It has scored few sites in the US for its glasses. Its high pricing has turned away those who seek an alternative to RealD.
The company recently hired Kurt Schwenk as a consultant to run its US office. Kurt’s past employers include NEC, THX, and Dolby. Kurt, however, took a parallel consulting position with GDC to lead its US sales effort. At this time, it’s unclear which company Kurt will work for, as it’s unlikely that he’ll continue to work for both.