Whilst prominent players such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic are going ga-ga over 3D tellies, Sharp, apparently, has something quite different up their sleeves. How does a stereoscopic display on your mobile phone sound? They don't require any pesky glasses by the way. Want one? Yes, that's what Sharp is really up to, and they are expected to hit consumer land later this year.
Based on various news sources, the Japanese CE makers have crafted not just a compact 3D display but a touchscreen as well. Besides being able to respond to grubby fingers, the display is able to toggle between 2D and 3D modes, and is made possible with a switchable layer beneath the screen. Sounding more like a sci-fi term, a "parallax barrier" is known to split the light from the screen before it directs the beam towards your poor left or right eye when comfortably energized.
Its mechanics are actually quite similar to lenticular television displays. Stick your head at the dead-center axis, hold the screen 30 cm in front of your pretty face, and you could perceive some 3D depth if you're lucky. Veer off tangent (or angle) and you'd probably end up with a fuzzy-wuzzy image. So, is this ultimately just a gimmick? Or truly a state of the art technology? You decide. How long did Sharp take to create something like that? Drum roll please. Get this, 20 painstaking years of 3D research and development, presumably.
Also, some are speculating these funky 3D screens might find their way to the upcoming Nintendo 3DS. I wouldn't be surprised if they do, since Sharp is currently supplying the Nintendo camp with LCDs for their handheld consoles. Incidentally, Sharp has been trying to market similar displays a good nine years ago to no avail. I can only wish them success with their forthcoming endeavor.
Hmm, it sure seems like the 3D craze is about to hit an apex of stereoscopic proportions.
Andy Sim / Former Senior Tech Writer
Andy is a self-made geek with a penchant for good music and a hearty pint. His domain includes swanky TVs, notebooks and networking gizmos.