Qualcomm demonstrated the world's first glasses-free 3D tablet - well, Mobile Development Platform - back at Mobile World Congress in February. Based on screen technology from MasterImage 3D, which we first saw at Consumer Electronics Show this year, we had a chance to view Qualcomm's progress at Uplinq 2012.
The tablet uses the Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core chip that integrates Adreno 225 graphics. Sitting on top, MasterImage 3D's 1,920x1,200-resolution, 10.1in panel uses the firm's cell-matrix parallax barrier technology to display 3D images without the need for glasses.
Taking the displayed Sega Virtua Tennis as an example, which isn't optimised for 3D, the Adreno 225's OpenGL driver undertakes the internal conversion from 2D to 3D and presents a slightly different, half-resolution image to each eye. It's important to understand that mobile-orientated games developers don't need to undertake additional qualification work themselves; Qualcomm will run the title on the GPU and validate 3D functionality.
In response to criticism that, like the Nintendo 3DS, gaming on a glasses-free 3D screen induces headaches, Qualcomm includes a slider that controls the aggressiveness of the 3D conversion. Set at medium levels, Virtua Tennis provided an adequate, if not spectacular, three-dimensional gaming experience. Qualcomm has similar technologies to convert 2D video content into 3D, too.
We guess this 3D demonstration is an indirect affirmation of the underlying power of the Adreno graphics; remember, they're mid-pack in Qualcomm's current Snapdragon line-up. Question is, much like '3D-capable' smartphones, will consumers stump up the (significant) extra for special screens when full-featured models such as the Google Nexus 7, albeit 3D-less, are available from £159?