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HTC unveils stereo 3D handset

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D smartphone? glass-free stereo 3D? WiMAX?

Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp. took the stage at Qualcomm's annual Uplinq conference in San Diego, California to unveil a new handset that can capture and display stereo 3D images and videos. Mobile communications experts claim the new HTC model belongs to a new generation of glasses-free stereo 3D units that represents the cellphones of tomorrow.

The HTC EVO 3D will be exclusively available on the Sprint WiMax network later this year. Sharp is already selling a similar stereo 3D handset in Japan, and Korea's LG Electronics showed a prototype unit at Google I/O in San Francisco in May.

EVO

The HTC EVO 3D WiMax phone for the Sprint network

Market watcher Displaysearch estimates consumers may buy as many as 195 million stereo 3D smartphones by 2018, creating a $22 billion market. But some handset makers say the technology is not ready for prime time.

Qualcomm developed the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor that powers HTC's 3D design. In a demo, the 3D images showed depth in front of and behind the display, but were only crisp in a very narrow viewing angle.

Qualcomm specified a dual CMOS sensor module, optimized for delivering the best optical alignment for its chips. The chip designer also developed its own software to automatically convert existing 2D video into stereo 3D.

A lack of 3D-capable smartphone displays is one bottleneck to delivering such systems, Qualcomm engineers said. A graphics researcher at handset maker Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications said a lack of good stereo 3D software is also holding back such designs.

In a keynote address during the event, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs showed stereo 3D games, user-generated content and 3D movies playing on a smartphone.

In a breakout session, Ville-Veikko Helppi, director of marketing at Rightware Oy, described the company's Kanzi 3D UI, a PC-based design program for creating stereo 3D content for Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips. The company licenses autostereoscopic technology from MasterImage 3D.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times





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