Sharp has developed the first high-definition 3D camera for mobile phones, and says it plans to begin mass production by the end of the year.
The camera module can capture 720p 3D video images using a progressive scanning system, and incorporates functions to process the image data output from the left and right cameras.
These include Color Synchronizing Processing to adjust color and brightness, Timing Synchronizing Processing to synchronize the timing of the video signals, and Optical Axis Control Processing to correct positioning.
In addition, Fast Readout Technology rapidly transfers video data from the image sensor, says Sharp, enabling 3D images to be captured in high-resolution HD mode.
The company says it's used high-density mounting technology to keep the size down, and says it expects to see the module used in digital cameras and smartphones.
It could also appear in netbooks and the like, and even in the Nintendo DS, which already has a 3D version in the pipeline using a Sharp screen.
"In the future, Sharp will be opening up new 3D markets based on 3D display technologies, including small/medium-size and large-size 3D LCDs, as well as on 3D input device technologies such as 3D camera modules," the company promises.
Samples will ship in July, with mass production by the end of the year. No prices were given - one imagines it won't be cheap.