Chinese hardware manufacturer Rockchip is developing a 3D Android tablet which does not require glasses and will be showing it off at the IFA electronics fair in Berlin next month.
Rockchip is employing a lenticular autostereoscopic 3D display and a dual-switch which allows users to switch to 2D mode as well, much like Nintendo's upcoming 3DS, which also uses autostereoscopic technology.
The benefits of this are obvious as no one really likes wearing 3D glasses. Most methods of autostereoscopy work by redirecting images to several viewing regions at a lower resolution, building up a convincing 3D image, but potentially at the risk of quality. However, early indications suggest pretty good quality overall. There are brightness issues as well.
Rockship's prototype model is being dubbed the Supernova x1, but the sticker on the device had Nova x1, so it could be either.
Not many details are thin, but from the pictures and videos we've seen it appears to be a very small device, with a screen size of around three by five inches, making it closer to the Dell Streak than to the iPad. While this will make it ultra portable, the screen size might be a tad on the small size for truly enjoying a 3D movie - but it does suggest that we may end up with 3D smartphones in the near future.
Initial reports suggest it will run Google's Android OS, but it's not clear which version. Since this is a pretty early prototype, however, we expect that Android 3.0 or an even later version will be out by the time it hits the shelves. That doesn't stop Rockchip from doing a Dell and launching with a really old version of Android, but it would be wise to update to a more recent flavour.
It is also not clear what price range this will aim for, but if Rockchip can keep the price tag down then it may be onto a winner.