A Third Dimension for Mobile Phones

Technology.am (May 16, 2009) — European researchers are trying to make simple and cheap Mobile3DTV. They are developing the core elements of the next generation of three-dimensional television for mobile devices.

mobileAtanas Gotchev, the scientific coordinator of the EU-funded Mobile3DTV project points out that one major challenge is choosing the optimal format for representing 3-D video for mobile delivery. He said the format should be adopted ideally by all industrial players to avoid a ‘formats war’. For that reason, the project decided to build its system around the EU standard known as Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H).

Gotchev added, “Another challenge is to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable 3-D viewing experience.” Mobile3DTV is employing so-called auto-stereoscopic displays, which produce 3-D images that do not require those awkward glasses to view them – which is good news for people who want to be incognito about their mobile viewing.

“Auto-stereoscopic displays use additional optical elements aligned on the surface of an LCD, to ensure that the observer sees different images with each eye,” explains Gotchev.

“As mobile devices are normally watched by a single observer, two independent views are sufficient for satisfactory 3-D perception.”

Content is, as it has long been, the major obstacle on the road to the widespread take-up of 3-D mobile TV. The project has been working on specifications for how mobile 3-D content should be created, coded and transmitted over DVB-H in order to be visualised on a portable display with satisfactory quality for the user.

“We have access to probably the most advanced 3-D portable display – one delivered by the Japanese giant NEC LCD,” says Gotchev.

Gotchev is quietly confident that the Mobile3DTV project can help prod the rollout of 3-D television in the mobile market.

“The rapidly-evolving mobile TV market could serve as a ‘bandwagon’ for introducing 3-D TV broadcast to the general public,”

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