Can mobile devices help accelerate 3D adoption?

3D – while potentially quite lucrative – is still very much a niche business. But one analyst believes that mobile devices could help bring the nascent standard to the masses.

Indeed, 3D-enabled smartphones, notebooks, MIDs and portable game players are expected to comprise over 11% of the total mobile devices market by 2015.

“Emerging 3D technologies for mobile devices do not require the user to wear glasses to view the 3D content,” senior ABI Research analyst Victoria Fodale told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

“While there are still challenges with glasses-free 3D on televisions, it  is possible [and perhaps more feasible] on smartphones [as well as] other mobile devices.”

In addition, the mobile category boasts a rapid replacement cycle – unlike 3D TVs which can be used for years before being upgraded.  

According to Fodale, the adoption of 3D-enabled mobile devices is likely to be driven by three primary applications:

  • Creation of user-generated 3D content by integrated video and still cameras. 

  • Playback of 3D content.
  • 3D gaming.

“[Of course], it is still a very early market: in late 2010, notebooks and smartphones are the only mobile device categories that are shipping with 3D capabilities, and most of those have been limited to specific areas, in particular Japan. 

“[Still], as glasses-free technologies are refined and gain broader market acceptance, 3D will spread to other regions and mobile device categories, including media tablets and netbooks,” she added.