LG banks on eye-popping 3D smartphone experience

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3D may finally go mainstream, or so consumer electronics giant LG hopes, when it puts a smartphone in users' hands this year allowing them to create and view 3D content without glasses.

The South Korean company showed off its Optimus 3D at the mobile industry's annual get-together here in Barcelona, drawing crowds trying to get a look at what LG bills as the world's first full 3D experience as it allows the creation, sharing and viewing of content.

The 4.3-inch (10.3 centimetres) WVGA screen renders crisp and fluid full 1080-pixel high definition viewing in two dimensions.

A super-fast processor then provides similar fluidity for 720-pixel high definition 3D video, providing a sensation like watching something through a window.

The camera is equipped with dual five-megapixel cameras to create high definition 3D videos, as well as photographs.

"This is is the first smartphone to put the power to make 3D content into the hands of users," said LG representative Conrad Chase as he explained the phone's features to onlookers at its stand at the Mobile World Congress.

The company hopes that, along with easy transfer to a special 3D channel on the YouTube video-sharing website, its offering will finally unblock the mass adoption of the technology.

A sort of 'chicken and egg' situation has developed in the 3D market, with manufacturers now building 3D TVs but many people hesitating to buy due to a lack of content.

"When people flood YouTube with 3D content they have created themselves it will set the ball rolling for the market," said Chase.

The demonstration models had several 3D games installed, with more titles expected to appear shortly after the phones come to market in a couple of months.

A key on the side of the phone launches the 3D features menu, which is in the form of a 3D carousel.

Regular 2D features are accessible via a standard menu for the Android operating system smartphones.

The dual-core and dual memory-channel processor found on tablet computers allows for seamless multitasking on the phone.

While LG officials said most people found the 3D picture comfortable to view, especially without glasses, it can be adjusted in many features to ease eye strain -- and can always be shut off altogether.

The technology thrilled most people at the stand but eye strain may be issue.

"People will certainly want to try it out but afterwards I don't know, I didn't find it very comfortable on my eyes," said Lee Chun, 40, from China.

© 2011 AFP

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