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Sharp makes spec-less 3D LCD touchscreen

Sharp Corporation said it has developed a 3D touchscreen that can switch between 2D and 3D modes. Users can view 3D images without the need to wear special glasses, the outfit said, making it "ideal for mobile devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, and smartphones".

The 3D LCD uses a parallax barrier system to display 3D images. This barrier, which has a series of vertical slits, is incorporated into an ordinary LCD to control the path of light reaching the right and left eyes, creating a sense of depth.

Shap said conventional 3D LCDs with this system were poor at displaying high quality images in 3D mode. It said it has improved image quality by achieving both high brightness and low crosstalk thanks to advances in CG-Silicon technology and optimization of the parallax barrier.

Advances in CG-Silicon technology have shrunk the wiring width within the LCD panel, allowing more light to pass and doubling the brightness (to 500 cd/m2, the industry's highest) compared to the conventional model.

The thickness of the LCD module is about the same as conventional 2D displays even though it is a touchscreen. 3D images can be displayed in both portrait and landscape screen orientations.

Sharp has also developed a non-touchscreen 3D LCD which will go into mass production within months. It's a good bet this screen will make its way in to the expected 3D Nintendo DS.