3D TV on your mobile – A technology that will soon be a reality

Remember the first 3D Indian movie experience? Wearing those cumbersome glasses did not deter the spirit of lakhs of youngsters who flocked to cinemas to view the wonder of 3D – Chota Chetan!

The same 3D technology is now ready to revolutionise the mobile experience and sans the awkward glasses too!!!

While simulating 3D has always been the ultimate dream for TV and Cinema, the first attempt to do so came in 1890. William Friese-Greene, a Brit film maker invented a process in which two films were projected side by side on screen, and the viewer looked through a stereoscope to converge the two images.

Although 3D has evolved since those days, the technology is expensive. However, adapting the technology to the mobile seems like an achievable task according to Atanas Gotchev, the scientific coordinator of the EU-funded Mobile3DTV project.

“The mobile market has always been much more dynamic and receptive to new technologies than the television market, as the whole idea of mobility is based on dynamism,” he says.

According to him, since the target audience of the mobile is a maximum of one or two persons, it becomes easy to satisfy the whims of this audience as the technical requirements are not that exacting. “As mobile devices are normally watched by a single observer, two independent views are sufficient for satisfactory 3-D perception.”

“In Mobile 3-D technology, the viewing mode is personal, the required display size is small and the user is expected to adjust the display position for the best viewing experience,” he notes.

The story of 3-D TV for mobile phones began as early as 2003, when Sharp launched a 3-D mobile phone in Japan and Korea’s SK Telecom launched a 3-D phone – from Samsung – in 2007, and Japan’s Hitachi just launched one in 2009.

Image source: http://sp.cs.tut.fi/mobile3dtv/

The major challenges that face this industry are:

a) The paucity of content and the fact that a profitable business model has not been worked out so far

b) Choosing the optimal format for representing 3-D video for mobile delivery

c) To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable 3-D viewing experience

“While Apple’s iPhone supports 3-D TV, but can currently only be viewed with special glasses, 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” says Gotchev.

About Mobile 3D TV: bile 3DTV Content Delivery Optimization over DVB-H System – is a three-year project partly funded by the European Union 7th RTD Framework Programme in the context of the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Cooperation Theme and its objective 1.5 Networked Media. The project started on 1st January 2008. The main objective of MOBILE3DTV is to demonstrate the viability of the new technology of mobile 3DTV. The project develops a technology demonstration system for the creation and coding of 3D video content, its delivery over DVB-H and display on a mobile device.