Posted by Hezi Saar on March 2, 2011
We’ve seen 3D touted as the next display technology in consumer electronics and mostly 3D TVs. The (big) problem is that viewing a 3D picture requires you to have glasses on which is not what you expect to wear at the comfort of your home environment. Mobile electronics displays are different from large screen TVs, due to the fact that the mobile device is geared to individual use and the 3D view can be adjusted easily when holding the device in front of your face without the need in wearing glasses. 3D viewing in mobile devices is achieved using an autostereoscopic vision parallax barrier which behaves like a mask projecting one image to the right eye and another to the left eye. Although this view is somewhat restrictive it’s sufficient for usage by a single person, as long the there is not a lot of movement (might be challenging to stay steady while using public transportation).
Here’s a nice explanation how parallax barrier works in 2D and 3D modes (courtesy of www.inition.co.uk):
3D will become a general requirement very quickly for all mobile devices with medium to large displays, as the technology offers sufficient quality to upgrade existing pictures, videos and films. It will be spreading fast in smartphones and tablets during 2011 and will be a standard user experience going forward.
LG was showing a 3D display phone at MWC 2011 which offers a great way to view videos, pictures and playing games. Ninteno 3DS was launched last week in Japan and demonstrates 3D display experience. These products signal the wave of new user experience that will use 3D displays in mobile electronics.
You cannot find a lot of 3D video content at the moment but 2D to 3D conversion technology is available in multiple forms and the quality is satisfactory for mobile electronics due to their small display size.
3D recording is also coming to the phones quickly, with LG’s stereo cameras generating personalized 3D video content. 2D to 3D conversion technology will be used to bridge the gap and enable rapid 3D display adoption, until we reach a point that 3D video content will be widespread. 2D to 3D conversion products are offered by several semiconductor vendors enabling mobile devices vendors to upgrade their platforms quite easily and extend the benefits to end-users.
It’s more than just looking at these 3D displays. At MWC 2011 in Barcelona, NTT Docomo showed their 3D display concept that allows the user to “feel” the 3D movement that appears on screen. Holding a stylus creates a magnetic field that allows the phone (display for that matter) to know where the stylus is and change the image accordingly.
In this case the chameleon’s head moves with the movement of the stylus. The impressive thing is that you can truly “feel” the impact created by the chameleon’s tongue which ‘hits’ the stylus. The impact is quite powerful (I felt it) and you may hear and see the movement of the stylus in the video above (courtesy on engadget). Although this is just a concept it demonstrates the capability of 3D displays and enhanced user experience that can be created.
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Views and Trends in mobile electronics connectivity related to MIPI IP
I started my career as an R&D engineer for embedded systems, then transitioned into applications engineering and product marketing roles in the semiconductor industry. With my systems knowledge, I have led many IC design wins that have enabled portable applications such as cellular phones, digital cameras and eBooks.
What intrigues me about the mobile electronics market is how rapid technological innovations, economic forces and changing consumer preferences drive market direction. Let’s explore these developments together.
– Hezi Saar