12.05.10

3D goes mobile

AUTHOR: Inavate

3D nay-sayers beware as the technology looks like it’s set to get mobile on us. Electronics giant Sharp Corporation, has announced the world first mobile-sized 3D cameras. The company says that it will ship samples of the camera in July 2010 and enter full mass production within this year. The device is said to be capable of capturing 3D video images at 720p resolution, an industry first.

3D images are composed of two views taken using two cameras that simultaneously capture separate images for the right and left eyes. Consequently, a 3D camera requires peripheral circuitry to apply image processing to the two images, for example, to adjust colour or correct positioning between the images from the two cameras. Manufacturers have therefore been pursuing designs that reduce the size and weight of 3D cameras and seeking ways to shorten their development period.

The current 3D camera module developed by Sharp incorporates functions to process the image data output by the left and right cameras, including Color Synchronizing Processing to adjust colour and brightness, Timing Synchronizing Processing to synchronise the timing of the video signals, and Optical Axis Control Processing to correct positioning.

In addition, Fast Readout Technology rapidly transfers video data from the image sensor, enabling 3D images to be captured in high-resolution HD mode. Further, in developing this camera module, Sharp applied high-density mounting technology nurtured over long years of experience in camera module development to achieve a compact form. Embedding this camera module in mobile devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, and smart phones will contribute to the development of a wide range of new, innovative communications tools.

In the future, Sharp will be opening up new 3D markets based on 3D display technologies, including small/medium-size and large-size 3D LCDs, as well as on 3D input device technologies such as 3D camera modules.

Most interestingly about the whole thing is the striking resemblance it bears the mocked up iSight 3D we carried in our April fools story!