LG to show glasses-free 3D smartphone at MWC

By on February 1, 2011, 9:30 AM
LG is going to unveil a 3D capable smartphone at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Much like the Nintendo 3DS, the device won't require special glasses for 3D viewing and the South Korean electronics giant hopes to overcome the lack of content by creating its own ecosystem: the Optimus 3D will sport a dual-lens rear camera to record 3D photos and videos and has HDMI 1.4 and DLNA support baked in to stream content to other 3D-capable devices.

Apart from this not much is known in terms of specs, but earlier leaks suggest the smartphone will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 SoC and carry a 4.3-inch (480x800 pixels) display, which the company introduced at CES. More details will be announced by LG next month, February 14, hopefully including pricing and a release date.


The Nintendo 3DS has proven that small-screen glasses-free 3D technology can work well -- at least according to those who have gotten some hands on time with the upcoming gaming handheld. It remains to be seen if developers get on board with producing 3D content for smartphones or if this will remain just a wild gimmick.




User Comments: 10

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Jibberish18 said:

Ahhh yes. Another device to make us all go blind slowly.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I wish these manufacturers would give up on the whole 3D thing. It's been a total failure due to a lack of interest and the inability to put out quality products (especially without the stupid glasses). I think all that R&D and production money they've wasted on 3D everything over the last couple of years could have been better served in just making better products overall.

Jibberish18 said:

They need something different. Whether it works or not they have to at least try to make something different and interesting to the consumer......even if it is potentially for them and a waste of time and a fad that will soon go away.

RaiDeR55 said:

TomSEA said:

I wish these manufacturers would give up on the whole 3D thing. It's been a total failure due to a lack of interest and the inability to put out quality products (especially without the stupid glasses). I think all that R&D and production money they've wasted on 3D everything over the last couple of years could have been better served in just making better products overall.

X2

matrix86 matrix86 said:

What the friggin friggity freck are you gonna do with a dadgum 3D smartphone?! When I saw them make a 3D tv that could switch between 2D and 3D I thought "ok, but the tech still needs perfection for this to work" (glasses free, no limited viewing angle). They put out the 3D DS and I thought "not too bad, but seems pointless on such a small screen." And now this...I have nothing positive to say about this. At this rate, we're going to have 3D watches.

I'm a believer in the 3D tech. I believe it can and will be perfected...but come on, you gotta draw the line somewhere. Hand held game systems and smartphones are not the right choices for incorporating 3D tech.

Geary said:

matrix86 said:

I'm a believer in the 3D tech. I believe it can and will be perfected...but come on, you gotta draw the line somewhere. Hand held game systems and smartphones are not the right choices for incorporating 3D tech.

I'm not quite sure which of 2 possible arguments you're trying to make here...

1.) That they shouldn't be doing this because you think they should instead get it working and perfected on larger scales like TVs first. Which, sure, sounds reasonable, until you realize that 3D TVs are incredibly expensive, and most people won't want to drop the cash to buy into the tech without getting a feel for it first. This is why it actually makes more sense to try to get people to start adopting on smaller investments first (from $20 movies to couple-hundred-dollar phones and handhelds), instead of expecting them to drop nearly a grand on a new TV that, when you actually want to use the 3D, you currently have to subscribe to one of a very limited number of channels offered (woo spending money on top of money!)

Not to mention that the smaller stuff like this phone and the 3DS can really be seen as almost a proof-of-concept projects for companies. They nail it down on a smaller scale first and then try to expand from there to make it viable for a TV to room full of people.

2.) That they shouldn't be doing this because you don't think there's a need for 3D on stuff like cell phones and handhelds. Which reminds me of when people complained that companies were wasting their time because nobody would play games on their cell phones. Or that nobody would watch movies/TV shows on them. Etc, etc. There is always an expanding market for this stuff, even if you think it's pointless now (hell, I was one of the people who thought mobile gaming was pointless, too.)

princeton princeton said:

RaiDeR55 said:

TomSEA said:

I wish these manufacturers would give up on the whole 3D thing. It's been a total failure due to a lack of interest and the inability to put out quality products (especially without the stupid glasses). I think all that R&D and production money they've wasted on 3D everything over the last couple of years could have been better served in just making better products overall.

X2

X3. Also

"480x800 pixels" STOP MESSING AROUND LG. WE ALL KNOW YOU MAKE THE IPHONE 4 PANELS! How about instead of making a 3D phone with a last gen res you make a 2D phone with 1280x720. I'm sick of these companies letting apple have the edge in mobile screens. Why aren't they going to top it?

Take a page from Motorola. Their new QHD screen is 960x540. Although the iphone boasts slightly more pixels the motorola uses 16:9.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

3D is fine for larger formats, but I agree with others here, putting it on these smaller screens just seems wasteful. Sure, it's a neat gimmick. But is it really useful? The depth of field on such a small screen, and associated eye strain with focusing on such a small area, just seems like it would be more headache-inducing than actually effective. But hey, so what if they have to throw up warnings not to use it for too long each day (like the initial Nintendo 3DS warnings for younger players)... At least it's cool, right?

matrix86 matrix86 said:

@ Geary, to clarify:

1.) I think using 3D on the DS as a "proof of concept" is a great idea, and I agree with that. I hadn't thought of that before.

2.) While the "proof of concept" on the smaller screens is good, I think it rather pointless to use it on a smartphone. The DS makes much more sense...but a smartphone? Really?!

Now I realize it doesn't make much sense to say "I approve it for a small DS game system but not for a smartphone." But I just really can't see the point. Smartphones are mainly used for playing simple games, checking email, texting, and watching youtube. I know people watch movies on them, but who seriously sits at home watching a movie on their tiny smartphone with their larger TV just sitting in front of them.

I could be wrong, and 3D tech on a smartphone could really take off, but it really just seems wasteful. Games on a smartphone makes sense (I thought that when they started them) but 3D just makes no sense (unless the average youtuber goes out and buys 3D camera to record with, lol).

At the same time, I do agree with Vrmithrax. So I guess i'm half on half on this tech on a small game system, but completely against it on a smartphone.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Tech companies will do whatever it takes to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack in the highly competitive mobile phone market. Whether it is multi-core CPUs, higher resolution screens or 3D displays, first to market will always have its advantages.

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