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What are 3D mobile phones and why should I care?

We asked Ernest Doku, our mobile phone expert and general technology guru, to explain the wonder of 3D mobile phones without any of the teccy jargon.

The 3D Market

From Avatar – the highest grossing movie of all time – to the latest PlayStation 3 shooters and even this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament, 3D has become a huge proportion of the media industry’s output and is likely to only increase over the new few years.

Whether seen as a ploy to get more money from movie ticket sales and sell new TVs or adding a valuable added level of immersion to the entertainment experience, the move of 3D from the cinema into the home is continuing unabated, with sights now set on dominating our mobile phone screens.

3D Mobile Phones

The era of 3D mobile phones is already here, with the LG Optimus 3D and HTC EVO 3D both promising to not only give a boost to the adoption rate of this new three-dimensional medium, but also breathe life to the mobile market from July 2011.

Not only are these mobiles displaying images, movies and even games in 3D, but how they do this differs vastly from the old style red-and-green glasses, or even the new Rayban-style ones offered in your local movie theatre, these handsets harness the latest in glasses-free technology.

How does glasses-free 3D work?

Offsetting the relatively small size of these screens with the high resolution of their displays and fact that no glasses are needed at all, 3D mobile phones truly represent the bleeding edge of current technology.

These displays consist of a ‘switching LCD,’ a different type of screen from earlier, big-screen version of 3D that enables both 2D and 3D imaging to be displayed on the same surface, but without the need for glasses.

Whilst the LCD switch is off, the screen sends the same image to both eyes, so these displays can look exactly the same as those seen on your average smartphone.

When turned on however, the method by which light leaves the screen changes, separating it and allowing for two distinct images to hit the left and right eyes…presenting a 3D image when processed by the brain.

Hopefully the below image helps to explain the complicated technology behind this:

Taking 3D Photos and Making 3D Movies

A great thing about these new phones is that they are as good at creating 3D content as they are at displaying it!

Both the Optimus 3D and EVO 3D come with a pair of 3D cameras on the rear of the device, enabling 3D images and even high-definition 3D videos to be recorded.

With access to YouTube’s new 3D channel on the phone itself in the case of the LG Optimus, a whole new world of user created 3D content is just around the corner!

With simple connectivity to the HDMI ports of new 3D televisions, broadcasting of homemade content is equally as straightforward.

Whilst perhaps seeming a gimmick at first, the promise of capturing a child’s first steps or a couple’s wedding vows can literally take on a whole new dimension once 3D mobile phones take off.

They aren’t even significantly more expensive than the current range of smartphones on the market, so this trend of glasses-free 3D technology embedded in our mobiles could continue for some time to come!

See Also:

Want to see a 3d phone in action? Ernest demonstrates in this video of the LG Optimus 3D

  • Ashlie K. Moser

    So why do feminists believe video games and intense metal are misogynistic?

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