PC World recently experienced first hand the 3D nature of Sharp’s only Actius RD3D notebook in the country (pictured here as a mockup because cameras can’t capture the 3D effect). Released in the US last September (with no plans for a local release at press time), the RD3D initially looks like a regular high-end desktop replacement notebook.
The RD3D’s unique screen functions like a standard display with an active matrix and diodes distributed across a wire grid behind the LCD glass. These diodes form the basic pixels, or light elements, that make up an image. In order to create the effect of 3D a second matrix is added, called a parallax barrier. The second matrix stays transparent when operating in 2D mode, but when the user pushes the 3D button at the top left of the notebook’s keyboard, the switching LCD sends alternate pixels to the left and right eyes to create the 3D effect without the need for stereoscopic eye glasses.
Having seen it with our own eyes, we were definitely impressed. Even though ghosting was evident on some edges, demonstration images seemed to protrude over the top of the keyboard, and a sense of depth meant we could also see into the distance ‘through’ the display. Potential applications in medical, modelling/design, construction, marketing and entertainment industries abound. In the US the RD3D comes with converted trailers for IMAX movies. Most games using Microsoft’s Direct 3D technology should appear in stereoscopic splendour, and software is available to convert standard photos.
It’s such killer software applications for which Sharp Australia is waiting before it commits to an Australian launch of the RD3D notebook or its 3D display-equipped mobile phone cousin.