Feb 23, 2011

At the last two annual Consumer Electronics Shows, hardware manufacturers demonstrated that they were determined to pipe the third dimension into the world s living rooms with an aggressive roll-out of 3-D televisions.

Now, that focus has begun to shift to handsets.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, several hardware manufacturers are showing off interactive touchscreens capable of displaying 3-D effects that are visible without the aid of special eyewear.

LG has the Optimus 3D, a 4.3-inch sleek smartphone that offers the ability to watch 3-D videos from YouTube or other sources. The phone also lets people play a bevy of games in 3-D a dizzying effect that takes some getting used to.

LG also showed off its first tablet computer, the LG Optimus Pad, a lightweight device with an 8.9-inch screen that was easy to grip in one hand. (The device is also known as the G-Slate, and it will be released under that name by T-Mobile in the United States later this year.) Although the tablet itself, which is running Honeycomb, the version of Android created especially for tablets, cannot actually play 3-D video, it is able to capture 3-D content, with the help of a dual-core processor and an array of two 5-megapixel stereoscopic cameras embedded in the back of the tablet. There s also a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video chatting.

The LG Optimus Pad and the Optimus 3D are intended to work in tandem, with buyers using the tablet to record 3-D video, uploading it to YouTube and then viewing it on the Optimus 3D. Representatives for LG said pricing and availability were not yet known for either device.