Where Are Our 3D Smartphones?

A couple of weeks ago, Sharp unveiled two Android powered smartphones with a unique feature—they can display 3D images without the views having to wear those funky glasses. Sharp is also building the screens for Nintendo’s upcoming handheld gaming device, the 3DS, which will have the same ability to display three dimension images without 3D glasses. Unfortunately, Sharp’s 3D smartphones (the 003SH and 005SH) are not expected to be released in the United States.

So where are our 3D smartphones? The GALAPAGOS series of 3D smartphones that Sharp is building for sale in Japan are not the first 3D phones built. Various, previous tries all flopped. However, now that companies are pushing the pixel count to the point where some high-end smartphones have a higher screen resolution than computers used to, what is the next big thing? Why 3D of course. Apple is already touting its ‘Retina Display’ as the ultimate in viewing because its pixel count is so high you can’t tell there are any. Now to compete, manufacturers are going to have to move beyond resolution and brightness. That’s where 3D comes in.

It will be quite a while before televisions featuring the 3D technology in Sharp’s smartphones are affordable. It is a lot cheaper and easier to build a screen that is only 4” diagonally compared to 32” or larger. Laptops made LCD screens popular and cheap enough for desktop computers and televisions; now smartphones might make 3D displays popular.

Both of Sharp’s 3D smartphones will feature 1 GHz Snapdragon processors, Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 (reports disagree over which Android version will be on the devices at launch) and 8+ megapixel cameras. Naturally, 720p HD video recording is supported. One of the most exciting features in the phones is that they will automatically convert 2D images into 3D through software. The video below doesn’t do the displays justice since we are all stuck on 2D computers screens at the moment but if the technology proves popular, even our televisions might have the technology as a standard feature one day.

Excited about the possibilities of 3D smartphones and then tablets, laptops, computers and televisions?

It’s a new digital world out there. Could we end up seeing the technology in phones from Motorola, Samsung, RIM, HTC and Apple in the future? This is too good to stay on the other side of the Pacfic.

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