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Exclusive : Samsung Invests In 3D Display Firm, Mulling 3D Handsets?

Masterimage 3D, a little known company which specialises in glassless 3D display, has announced at CTIA in Orlando that it has received a whopping $15 million investment from Samsung Ventures, part of the Samsung Conglomerate that also includes Samsung Electronics and Samsung Mobile.

The company, which like Samsung was founded in Korea (but moved to glamourous Hollywood), "invented, patented and mass-produced the cell-matrix parallax barrier", a glassless 3D technology one which it says offers better 3D quality compared to striped or lenticular technologies.

We saw a working demo of a 3D equipped Hitachi-build handset with the Masterimage 3D technology at CES in Las Vegas earlier in January and it would not be surprising if Samsung seeded the company to benefit exclusively from its expertise.

Archrival LG has already released the Optimus 3D at the MWC in Barcelona with a parallax barrier 3D screen and HTC is rumoured to be working on a 3D capable handset as well to be released by the end of the year.

Younghoon Lee, chairman and CEO of MasterImage 3D, said in a press release that the company is "We are committing this investment to [....] advancing our 3D solutions for cinema, smartphones, tablets, and larger autostereoscopic displays. We will continue to build toward our vision of 3D on every screen"

The investment could potentially trigger an all out-acquisition should Samsung decide that 3D will be one of its priorities going forwards. The fact that MasterImage 3D owns the IP that lies behind its 3D technology and that it is a privately held company with roots in Korea might be helpful.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.