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Sharp, the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in Japan, is set to launch a 3D smartphone later this year.

3D? Aren’t the smartphones in three dimensions already? Well, it’s the display that will show images in 3D. You know, that new craze all the movie & consumer electronics industry players talk about -trust me, I was a CEATEC Tokyo last year and everyone seemed to wear dizzy glasses.

The technology supposedly lets people see the multiple dimensions without those nerd-looking glasses, but it remains to be seen -in 3D?- if it will let us watch without keeping a certain distance and specific angle like similar already existing tech.

I’m not so sure. Last April in Tokyo, the company presented a multi-mode 2D-3D LCD screen that required not to move your head (or your hand) too much. Better not drink too much before playing with 3D.

But it might support touch, since that same LCD was a touchscreen. That would make sense for a smartphone.

The most talked-about spec is the potential inclusion of a camera able to take 3D imagery. Sharp is leaking samples of a 3D-capable HD camera module these days with mass production set to start any time now, so it’s only obvious geek bloggers are all sweaty about sharing their shiny LEGO Millenium Falcons with their friends.

Now, Sharp isn’t very well known for its smartphone line. But with the iPhone, the Android and DoCoMo hinting at more than 300,000 smartphones sold during the last quarter -most of them Xperias, it was only a matter of time until the company started to realign. It is unknown what OS it will run, but it should be noted that Sharp has recently released a giant Android thing, the IS01 (that’s for KDDI, it’s superbly called Lynx SH-10B on DoCoMo) -well, and an iPad non-killer running Linux.

The unnamed device will be a Japan-only offering, if you want my 2 cents. Sharp might be the biggest player here but has so far failed at any international ventures –Kin, anyone?

Image credit: [Sharp 3D LCD video]

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