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Space first: Live 3-D images from orbit
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Aug 17, 2011

Astronauts have produced the first live 3-D video images in the 50-year history of space travel, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Wednesday.

On August 6, NASA astronaut Ron Garan used a stereoscopic camera to film the inside of the International Space Station (ISS) and streamed the images live to ESA's research and technology centre in the Netherlands, it said.

Viewers wore polarised glasses similar to those used in cinemas "and were amazed by the quality of the images," ESA said in a press release.

The experiment, using a shoebox-sized gadget called the Erasmus Recording Binocular (ERB-2), should have a practical use on the ISS.

"The camera could also be used in the future outside the ISS to support the astronauts' spacewalks or other critical robotic operations," said ERB-2 coordinator Massimo Sabbatini.

"This really felt like being in space with an astronaut by your side."

The agency plans to post ERB-2 images on a new ESA YouTube 3-D channel.

In the meantime, it has posted small clip on its website (http://www.esa.int/esaHS/SEMWLEOT9RG_index_0.html). Viewers need red-and-blue stereo glasses to get the 3-D effect.

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HTC launches 3D smartphone in Taiwan
Taipei (AFP) Aug 17, 2011 - Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC Wednesday launched its first 3D cellphone onto the local market, picking what a local telecom operator said was an opportune time ahead of the iPhone 5.

The HTC Evo 3D, which is already on sale in the US, carries a 4.3-inch touch screen and allows users to capture and play images that come across as being in three dimensions without the need for specially designed glasses.

"This is very good timing and puts the product on the market before Apple launches its iPhone 5," said Cliff Lai, co-president of Taiwan Mobile, a local cell operator which joined forces with HTC in launching the gadget.

The cellphone, which costs Tw$21,900 ($760), uses Google's Andriod 2.3 platform and enables users to browse 3D images or play games in 3D.

South Korea's LG Electronics launched a 3D mobile phone, LG Optimus 3D, earlier this year.

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Sony, Panasonic, Samsung in 3D glasses deal
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 9, 2011
Japan's Sony and Panasonic and South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Tuesday they will jointly develop new standards for glasses used to watch 3D images on television, computer and movie screens. The three Asian consumer electronics giants, working with European technology firm X6D Limited, said their collaboration will cover a technology called "3D active glasses", according to their joint ... read more

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