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'Nokia 3D Communicator' Ground-Breaking Nokia Patent Listed

Published by Martin James May 05, 2011

'Nokia 3D Communicator' Ground-Breaking Nokia Patent Listed

Published by Martin James May 05, 2011

Nokia is always working on exciting new technologies aimed at transforming the way we use our mobile devices, and the latest trick up its sleeve is a twin-screen gadget concept featuring a revolutionary form of glasses-free 3D. Intrigued? Want to know more about the ‘Nokia 3D Communicator’, then read on…

The mobile world never stands still, and one the hottest technologies that’s expected to grip the smartphone market over the next couple of years is 3D.

We’ve already seen the first 3D smartphones hit the market, but what they have in common is the requirement that you position your eyes in a specific way in front of the screen to get the auto-stereoscopic 3D effect.

It’s a serious limitation, and one that is undoubtedly slowing down the progression of glasses-free 3D into the mainstream.

But if a new Nokia patent application is anything to go by, that could be all set to change. The application seeks to patent “an apparatus comprising a sensor configured to detect the position and orientation of a user viewpoint with respect to an auto-stereoscopic display; a processor configured to determine a surface viewable from the user viewpoint of at least one three dimensional object; and an image generator configured to generate a left and right eye image for display on the auto-stereoscopic display dependent on the surface viewable from the user viewpoint”.

In plain English, Nokia has developed a form of auto-stereoscopic 3D that detects where your eyes are in relation to the screen, and adjusts the 3D effect accordingly.

The technology is enough of an eye-opener on its own, but the device concept put forward by Nokia – which is being dubbed the Nokia 3D Communicator – looks pretty exciting too. It features a dual-display, with a 3D screen atop a 2D panel, and comes with advanced touches such as a shadow-casting effect from objects on the 3D screen down onto the 2D display, which adjusts as you move around the 3D image on screen with your finger.

Of course, a patent application doesn’t prove that Nokia actually has such a device in the pipelines, but if it does, the fact that the application dates back to October 2009 – even if it’s only become public now – suggests a finished product might be closer to seeing the light of day than we all think.

You can check out the full filing for yourself, complete with complex technical diagrams, over at the World Intellectual Property Organisation site.

So what do you reckon – is a so-called Nokia 3D Communicator on the way, or is this just another bright idea gathering dust on the R&D department’s shelves? Give us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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