Acer plans to release a laptop featuring a 3D display this autumn, according to Digitimes.

Designed to ride a recent surge in movies and TV shows filmed in 3D, the 15.6in-screen laptop will have built-in software that can correctly display 3D movies but also convert regular 2D movies into 3D, Campbell Kan, vice president of Acer's mobile computing unit, told the Taiwanese newspaper.

Acer won't be the first to offer 3D-enabled laptops. In 2003, Sharp released its Actius RD3D notebook with nearly identical 3D rendering capabilities.

The Actius RD3D was targeted at biotech researchers, car designers and architects. But even within that specialised business audience, it did not appear to catch on widely and was discontinued.

The Acer laptop, apparently aimed at a consumer audience, may have a better chance to catch on.

More than a dozen major Hollywood movies have been released in the last three years that were filmed in 3D, including animated movies such as Monsters vs Aliens, Bolt, Chicken Little and Up, action-heavy or gory movies such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, My Bloody Valentine and Scar, and concert films such as U2 3D and Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.

Directors, including Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, have thrown their support behind films in 3D. There have also been a number of network TV shows and commercials broadcast recently in 3D.

Consumer electronics companies such as Mitsubishi, Samsung and LG. are also building TVs with 3D screens.

Users of Acer's first-generation laptop will still need to wear stereoscopic glasses for the 3D to be effective, Kan said, though future models should be able to show the content in 3D without special glasses.

The laptop will ship with Windows 7 and be available at the end of October, Kan said. No names or prices were announced.

Computerworld US

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