Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: LG Optimus 3D - Aesthetics & Features

For my final review on the LG Optimus 3D, I’m going to focus on the usable 3D elements and the look & feel of the phone itself. As mentioned earlier, the LG Optimus 3D comes with a 3D Hot Key in the same location where traditionally you would find a dedicated Camera button on other smartphones The hot key allows users to switch from 2D to 3D on the fly and switch back. Hold it for a couple of seconds and it takes you into the 3D Guide, which is your portal to all the 3D stuff in the phone; Games, Apps, YouTube 3D, the 3D gallery and the 3D camera.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: LG Optimus 3D - Real Time 2D - 3D Conversion!

The first time I was exposed to 2D – 3D conversion, I was on a 42-inch TV and I was watching The Dark Knight. So I was fairly impressed when I saw Nolan’s movie in 3D, knowing that it was a traditionally shot 2D movie. It was no Avatar, but it was cool nonetheless. I even remember Ashraf Ghori’s reaction when he discovered that you could just 3D something, with the flick of a button. From all the gimmicks in the 3D world, 2D – 3D real-time conversion is probably one of my favourites. It allows me to see in 3D things I’d actually want to. I want to insert an inappropriate joke here, but that’s for a later time.

The trick with 2D – 3D conversion is creating the second layer of image (which one eye perceives differently than the other) where it doesn’t already exist. Conventional 3D has 2 layers. Conversion involves creating an illusion of a layer, because the second layer does not exist. How it works, is by create a sharp contrast on-screen – between a large and small object, through overlapping objects, or through differing levels of brightness or clarity – which then forces the right and left eye to analyze things differently.

In continuing my review of the LG Optimus 3D, one of its features is real-time 2D – 3D conversion. Any video that you play on the phone, even those you take with its cameras can be converted, at the touch of an on-screen button, into 3D. First, let’s discuss regular videos: Any video that you see on the phone, be it something that you shot using the phone’s HD camera or a video downloaded into your phone. Once you start playing it, you have the on-screen option to convert the video into 3D. Converting takes about a millisecond as the screen spurts out the video in 3D within a fraction of selecting the option. Real time conversion, it definitely is. The results are not bad either! Bearing in mind that the video was shot in 2D and that conversion takes place on the fly, the results are comparable to that big TV that I saw conversion in. However, there’s the slight difference, that due to LG’s Parallax Barrier screen, you don’t even need those annoying glasses. So switch to 3D on a whim, switch back when you feel like it. All that, without having to put on or take off a pair of oversized glasses.

The cameras at the back of the phone also offer visual delights. Firstly, they look cool. They’re like little eyes at the back of your phone. Incidentally, I’ve decided to name this phone Leonard.
Look into my bulbous bug eyes..
Leonard’s cameras are capable of full HDMI recording, in 2D and 3D. While in 2D its output sits pretty at 1080p. Switch to 3D means you sacrifice a little bit of the quality (you now record in 780p) but you’re carrying around a little James Cameron in your pocket. Switching between 2D and 3D shooting modes is again done at the flick of an on-screen button, activating the second camera to give you a dual perception on whatever it is you’re shooting. As an experiment, I shot 2 videos, both of the same items on my desk, one in 2D (1080p) and the other in 3D (780p). Then I played the 2D one and converted it to 3D with the on-screen feature. Both videos displayed very good quality, however the video shot in 3D was better at depth perception (obviously) than the one that was converted to 3D, which still wasn’t far behind. The depth perception was not as strong in the converted video, but it was there. Interestingly enough, while watching the 3D video, I was given the option to ‘2D’ it. Upon checking what it was, the screen splits in two and you have 2 video feeds, one from each camera. So it actually shows you the 2 individual perspectives, which if you then flick the option again, becomes one video, with depth.

The video below gives a fairly well-marketed impression of the 3D camera. It's pretty sweet..

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Review: LG Optimus 3D - Tiny Little 3D Monster!

What a movie..
I remember when Titan A.E. released (back in 2000) as the first animated movie to feature Digital 3D. And what an awesome movie that was. Sure it flopped, but hey, the movie is still legendary. I still have the OST cd. Best movie soundtrack EVER. But I digress..

We’ve come a long way since then with 3D accomplishments like Shrek, Avatar etc.. What started as a ‘gimmick’ has stuck around for a while now and earlier when big budget 3D movies would release, it would say, “3D in select cinemas!” We’ve now moved on to a point where I see “Releasing in 2D in select cinemas.” The gimmick is here to stay.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Review: LG Optimus 3D's Tri-Dual Technology

Let’s face it, everyone loves their own smartphones and likes to believe that theirs is the best. I personally am a bit of an Android buff, mainly because I enjoy the flexibility I get from one of them, so for me, the best smartphone is usually the best Android you can get. I recently got my hands on the LG Optimus 3D which boasts, amongst other things, something they call Tri-Dual technology. Before I explore the ‘depth’ of LG’s latest venture into mobile 3D, I’ll talk about this first.

LG Optimus 3D

Monday, August 15, 2011

AMD's VISION - The APU. (And why you should vote for me!)

I'm not usually one to enter this sort of competition, but when the good people at AMD approached me during an event that I held for them, I could hardly say no. I need votes to win, but before I get into that, let me run you through AMD's VISION..

Beyond all the computer jargon and fancy talk, it's all very simple. The folks at AMD had a vision that everyone and their uncles should be able to have a supercomputer. Simple things like full time HD, a battery life of over 8 hours, across the board 3D capabilities and much more were desired. So they built an APU - Accelerated Processing Unit. This is what AMD had to say about their APU:

"Information inside a computer flows between two critical areas: the GPU (for creative and visual tasks) and the CPU (for analytical and logic-based functions). Traditional PCs have separate CPUs and GPUs which leads to a communication bottleneck. This often results in extensive slowdowns for consumers.

Introducing the innovative AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (APU):
Powerful AMD processor technology and discrete-class, DirectX® 11–capable graphics combined on a single chip. It’s the perfect combination of beauty and brawn—delivering smooth HD video, powerful multitasking and energy efficiency. AMD's new APU features up to 4 x86 cores combined with up to 400 Radeon™ graphics cores in a single microchip."

That's how they describe it. In simpler terms they took, what has always been the more capable chip in a computer the GPU, and built it into the CPU, thereby increasing the processing power by at least 80%! Smart move, eh? You know have a simple chip that has tons of more processing power, making things like extended battery life, full time HD and 3D child's play. All of this is rooted in AMD's VISION engine. I'll let them explain that to you:

"AMD VISION Engine — The foundation of VISION Technology from AMD that enables vivid HD
entertainment, blazing-fast Internet browsing and accelerated media applications."

Pretty sweet, huh? My request now is to get you guys over to their website and vote! Each of the challengers, yours truly included, has to gather votes and the challenger with the most votes gets to go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival to see, amongst others, Arcade Fire, Coldplay Kanye West etc. live!

Help a brother out? Click here to start voting for your friendly, neighbourhood smartass!