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Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sharp To Release 3D e-book, Video Device This Year

Sharp is expected to release new 3D devices later this year that will allow users to enjoy 3D video without glasses, as well as audio and text.

The Japan Times today quoted Sharp President Mikio Katayama saying that his company's multifunctional device would allow users to access e-book content and would be sold in autumn. In addition, another device set to be released next year will be able to project 3D images and videos.

"I believe 3-D will catch on for the market of smart phone and tablet computers," and the firm will package its device to be compatible with 3-D technology without using special eyeglasses, Katayama said in an interview.

Sharp has already developed a 3D LCD (parallax barrier system) featuring high brightness and witch between 2D and 3D modes. Users can view 3D images without the need to wear special glasses.

Sharp also announced in July it will enter the e-book market later this year by launching a device that allows users to access video and audio content in addition to text and still images.The company has developed XMDF, an e-book format with advanced features that allow users to enjoy video and audio content, in addition to current features such as texts and still images. With next-generation XMDF as a core technology, Sharp plans to provide digital platform to promote e-book distribution service and launch compatible reader devices to enter the e-book market. Various publishing houses (newspaper, magazines, catalogs), printing and agent companies in Japan and overseas market will be supporting Sharp to launch this e-book business, Sharp said.

The company aims to roll out the device in the U.S. sometime this year and in emerging economies next fiscal year, according to Katayama, who said the device will also be utilized for other purposes, such as e-commerce.

The popularity of Apple's iPad has spurred growth in the e-reader and e-book markets, and global competition is heating up by the day with Amazon, Barnes & Noble Inc and Sony slashing device prices in the past month in response to the threat from the iPad.

In Japan, Sony and mobile phone operator KDDI Corp are also teaming up to distribute e-books.

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