3D smartphones are coming, but is anyone watching?

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Most Americans over the age of 10 do not seem to be watching movies on smartphones, but device makers are nonetheless forging ahead with a new generation of 3D smartphones. LG has apparently had enough success with its Optimus 3D Android phone to warrant an upgrade – the company is expected to announce its newest model, code named CX2 3D, later this month at Mobile World Congress 2012. Ireland’s Movidius and Toshiba Electronics Europe are also teaming up on a new 3D smartphone expected to launch at MWC 2012. Sharp, Hitachi, Samsung and HTC all have 3D smartphones on the market already.

So far, much of the consumer interest in 3D smartphones has been in Japan. In the US, research from Nielsen shows that just 3% of Netflix subscribers and 2% of Hulu viewers watch movies via mobile phones. But this survey did not include youtube videos, which are more likely to be viewed on smartphones and may drive interest in 3D technology.

3D smartphones have an extra layer on top of the display which allows your eyes to see different sets of pixels without 3D glasses. In Toshiba’s newest phone, the Movidius’ MA1178 dual image signal processor (ISP) and video chip will signficantly enhance the 3D experience, offering “multimedia features beyond what is offered by any other player in the mobile 3D market,” according to Toshiba. Current 3D smartphones often present a blurry image if the user is not looking straight at the screen. If newer offering correct this problem 3D smartphones could generate significant interest at MWC and in the consumer market.

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About Author

Martha DeGrasse

Editor, Wireless Infrastructure
[email protected]
Martha DeGrasse is an editor at RCR Wireless News, and is the creator of the RCR Mobile Minute. Martha has been with RCR Wireless News since 2011. Her current focus areas are wireless infrastructure and heterogeneous networks. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her at Twitter @mdegrasseRCR