A recent report suggests 3D integration will find its way into the mobile phone sector fairly soon and on a large scale.
The report from research company In-Stat says smartphones, more than any other mobile device, will be the leading integrator of 3D technologies. Sixty million mobile devices will have 3D capabilities by the year 2014 according to the report. Stephanie Ethier, senior analyst at In-Stat, said 45 percent of those 3D mobile devices will be smartphones.
One of the reasons for the high integration of 3D capabilities on mobile phones is autostereoscopic technology, which allows people to view 3D images without the usage of glasses. When you're looking at a lot of smartphones and other handheld devices, autostereoscopic 3D technology is the way to go, especially with the type of adoption the buyers need, Ethier said. When you look at 3D TVs, they require costly glasses, that's hard to do on a handheld device. You can't be wearing 3D glasses for a phone, it's inefficient and wouldn't work.
Already, there are a few 3D phones shipping overseas says Ethier. One such phone is the Samsung SCH-W960 smartphone. Also, Sharp will be releasing a 3D enabled phone in Asia and Europe early next year. Ethier said she expects there to be a 3D smartphone in the U.S. by the end of the first quarter in 2011. The only thing comparable to a 3D phone that's even been announced in the U.S., is Nintendo's 3DS handheld video game system.
3D mobile content is the biggest barrier. For the adoption of 3D phones to take off, we still need more content, Ethier said. She said development of 3D gaming will be important in order for 3D phones to take off as well as news and sports videos.
While Ethier's report said there will be an integration of 3D capabilities on tablets, she expects them to be firmly behind smartphones in development. I think tablet PCs are always behind smartphones in the development phase anyway. Incorporating 3D into smartphones will naturally lead into tablets, but that market is still being defined, Ethier said.