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1/11/2012
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High-Quality 3-D On Phones, Tablets Without Glasses

MasterImage 3-D demonstrated smartphone and tablet reference platforms at CES. The patented display technology looked as clear as any 3-D we've seen in this form factor.

Ultrabooks Dazzle At CES
Ultrabooks Dazzle At CES
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
I've been testing several 3-D technologies during the past several months, and while they all work reasonably well, all of them make some compromises--mostly because the images aren't quite as clear as I want them to be; and to be truthful, it's hard to get excited about something that makes me nauseous after a half hour of game playing or movie watching.

That's why the MasterImage 3-D reference platform seems so appealing. This 3-D display, which comes in a 4.3-inch version (for smartphones) and a 10.1-inch version (for tablets) was incredibly clear and rich, not grainy and ghosted like many of the products I've seen in that form factor.

This is a glasses-free display--720p resolution (1280x720) for the smartphone, and 1080p (1920x1200) for the tablet. While you can't necessarily see the 3-D in the video embedded below, you can get a little feel for the clarity.

[ What's the future of consumer technology? Read Consumer Tech Marches Closer To Star Trek. ]

The reference designs the company was showcasing at CES were powered by TI's IMAP 4 chipset. The technology uses cell-matrix parallax barrier, which the company has patented; the company claims it provides brighter images, lessened crosstalk, reduced moire effects, and a wider viewing angle. A few minutes with the technology had me convinced.

The company isn't announcing any license partners just yet, and frankly consumers aren't in a great hurry for 3-D. But if it's done well, maybe that's another story.

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