Sharp's 3D monitors: Look, no glasses

Consumer-electronics giant Sharp next year plans to sell notebooks and flat-screen LCD monitors that can show three-dimensional images. The monitors will let people see high-resolution 3D images or run 3D programs without using special glasses or additional software. For example, bodies and bullets appear to fly all over the place in a version of the popular game "Quake" that has been adjusted to work on Sharp's 3D monitors.

The technology also will be aimed at businesses, said Greg Nakagawa, senior vice president of Sharp Systems of America. General Motors has discussed experimenting with the technology in its modeling and design department. Medical imaging companies and e-commerce sites also are potential customers.

"I'm sure there will be a notebook product and an LCD monitor as well" toward the end of 2003, he said.

Bringing 3D viewing to the computing world has been a longtime goal. Although several companies have come out with Web browser software and other technology to make images appear to pop off the screen, the Web largely remains a two-dimensional world. To most people, 3D still means paper glasses with red and blue lenses or the hologram image of Princess Leia in "Star Wars." "It is still in its infancy in many ways," said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst with iSuppli/Stanford Resources. "There is a definite interest in the gaming market. There are some medical applications that like 3D, but precision there is important."

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News source: ZDNet

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