Sharp Launches Glasses-Free 3D Android Smartphones in Japan

Sharp launched two Android powered smartphones—the GALAPAGOS Softbank 003SH and the GALAPAGOS Softbank OO5SH—today in Japan the both of these have 3D screens sans glasses. Screens that can display (or at least make it look like they are) in 3D are the coming wave of the future and Nintendo’s coming 3DS mobile gaming console will have the same technology. Unsurprisingly, Sharp also makes the 3D screens for the Nintendo 3DS.

Both of these smartphones are for Japan’s Softbank wireless carrier and sport 3.8” 3D touchscreens at 800 x 480 pixels. The GALAPAGOS series uses autostereoscopic 3D technology. Basically, this means that they display three dimensional images without those annoying 3D glasses or the red/blue tint. The technology has been available for years now, but has not taken off yet for consumer electronics. However, I would not be surprised if we start seeing 3D, HD televisions with this technology in the next couple of years on the shelves. They will be expensive, but so were flat screen televisions at one time.

Sharp put a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor in both models to power Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’. What differs between the two phones? The 005SH has a horizontal, slide-out QWERTY keyboard while the 003SH shuns the keyboard for a sleek slate appearance. Interestingly, the 003SH packs a 9.6 megapixel camera while the 005SH has an 8 megapixel camera. Both smartphones can take 720p video but with camera resolutions this high, you would hope that some 1080p HD video recording would have found its way in there. HTC has stated that it plans to release 1080p video recording capable smartphones sometime in 2011 but until then…

The 003SH model will be released in December while the 005SH will come in February. I doubt that either of these phones will come to the U.S. but the technology is there for other manufacturers to pick up on the idea. 3D is naturally the next evolution of smartphone screens, as we are quickly approaching the limit for what human eyes can perceive in the pixel density department.

If Nintendo’s 3DS is a smash hit, expect smartphone manufacturers to jump all over 3D. If its sales disappoint, that might throw back 3D touchscreens on our smartphones here in the States by another few years. Sharp has a good idea here and now we just need to see how well these thing sell. Anyone want one? Wish you had the technology in your current phone?

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