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Sharp Reveals 3D Camera for Mobile, 3DS Maybe

Sharp said Wednesday that it developed a 3D camera module for mobile devices capable of capturing 720p 3D video images. Samples will start shipping in July, with mass production taking effect by the end of the year. Although many manufacturers are currently researching and refining 3D technology for mobile use, Sharp's announcement marks an industry first, following its recent debut of a 3D parallax barrier display that doesn't require special glasses.

According to Sharp, the 3D camera will consist of two lenses, each capturing the individual viewpoint of the associated eye simultaneously. The device processes the data supplied by the lenses using Color Synchronizing (to adjust color and brightness), Timing Synchronizing (to keep the two video feeds in sync), and Optical Axis Control to correct positioning. The camera's Fast Readout Technology provides the HD aspect, rapidly transferring video data from the image sensor.

While other manufacturers are fumbling around to get their 3D cameras into a compact state, Sharp made it possible by applying high-density technology "nurtured over long years of experience in camera module development" to achieve its current form factor. Sharp also said that the camera is geared towards digital cameras, mobile phones, and smartphones, allowing for the development of a "wide range of new, innovative communications tools."

Wednesday's Sharp announcement also triggered rumors in the gaming industry, hinting that Sharp's 3D camera module could find its way onto the upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming platform. The idea isn't far-fetched given the relationship between Sharp and Nintendo, however the 3DS may need a special adapter and/or app to use this device when released. Again, this is merely speculation, however the 3DS was merely speculation for quite some time.

  • mp562
    Cool, but will it work with my non-Sharp device? I'll believe it more when I see it.
  • twisted politiks
    I'm already over 3D.
  • Clintonio
    I care not for 3D.
  • legendsofhyrule
    I care for 3D.
  • Zoonie
    3D is overrated, I'm waiting for 4D.
  • dopeydog
    Tight jeans, 3D, making me go woop woop.
  • steiner666
    This is cool, hopefully they can offer this at a reasonable price so that the technology can actually become popular.
  • loomis86
    They need to make some very quick improvements to 3D tech very soon or people are going to be jumping off the 3D bandwagon in droves.
  • v12v12
    I can't wait till cell phone cameras fully integrate Xe-true-flash AND LED lighing for vid mode. These LED fake "flashes" are deplorable and do nothing but blind the person(s) in the pic, and white-wash any reflective/lightly colored objects lol.

    People use their phones as near point & shoot replacements more than they actually talk on the phone. I don't see wtf the industry continues to ignore this. Who's honestly carrying around a heavy P&S cam with them to catch those in-the-moment photos? I really wish they would focus more on the LENS and the CCD than stupid gimmicks and horrible "smart photo" software that does a horrible job at "enhancing" what shouldn't need it. Simply supply us with Xe-flash, a high qual lens, auto-focus, and faster shutter ISO options. Most phones require near zero movement or else grainy + blur city...
  • Hiniberus
    You know, I find it strange no one has really thought about this. Though what if they were to get a phone with shapshot ability and give it a large lens? Sure it'd up the price and people would be saying "Yeah but won't it scratch?" well not if it's a slide-phone and the lens is covered by the back. Then the part of the phone that's at the bottom which has been uncovered should have some camera-dedicated buttons (Mostly for image controls such as the Resolution, Timer ect).

    I'm not all that experienced with cameras and such but I'd think it's something that some camera-enthusiasts would appreciate.