Do we Really Need Mobile 3D Technology?

by Matt Klassen on August 3, 2011

Is the world ready for 3D smartphones? Does it even want them? With mobile 3D technology still in its infancy, what the does the future of this hold for this niche market? Will we soon be revelling in advanced 3D communications, perhaps enjoying a holographic conversation with our loved ones, or will we be saying, much like Gizmodo writer Sam Biddle about his first mobile 3D experience, that our new 3D smartphone, “is the first phone to ever literally hurt [our]face.”                     

It’s a damning critique regarding the first mobile phone to sport the same glasses-free 3D technology that Nintendo rolled out on its 3DS earlier this year, as users have, for the most part, found the mobile 3D experience to be a whole lot of annoying nonsense and not much advanced technological fun.

But is this initial dismay over mobile 3D technology simply a sign of a fledgling market, one that has a lot of growing to do, or does it point to a deeper systemic issue, that users don’t want mobile 3D technology to begin with?

Have you ever wondered just how much can be crammed into one smartphone? Not only does our phone act as a communications platform—with voice, data, and web integration—it now acts a gaming platform, a photography platform, a news centre, a music player, a video player, and if that weren’t enough (and its not) we’ll just shove 3D capability in there for good measure; truly the Swiss-army knife of the technological age.

But the question remains, is 3D technology something that mobile users are asking for, or is it one of those things that we need to be convinced we really need it?

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time technology manufacturers pushed a new market niche on the public, whether the public wanted it or not, so I would guess that regardless of these initial hurdles mobile 3D is facing, manufacturers will be leaving it up to their respective marketing departments to convince us that a splitting headache while staring at a poorly rendered 3D image is really in our best interests.

With LG looking to roll out the market’s newest 3D offering, the Thrill 4G, there’s no question that that very marketing machine has been kicked into high gear, with the company generating so much hype that its bringing in rock band Jane’s Addiction to throw a concert promoting the 3D technology…and to think I once appreciated rockers like Jane’s Addiction for their resistance to selling out.

To date it truly seems like mobile 3D technology merely gets in the way, as Biddle added, the more powerful and non-3D compliant “Evo 4G was fun for people who wanted a bazooka in their pockets. The 3D’s only suitable for shooting yourself in the face.”

For me, having yet to get my hands on any 3D device, I would offer up this opinion: Before adding features that users probably don’t want, perhaps mobile manufacturers should focus on improving the core features of every smartphone, features like enhanced high resolution displays and better power management. Of course, neither of those features sell smartphones.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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