En­joy life in

Lat­est phones give you the web and 3D at your fin­ger­tips, writes Jen­nifer DudleyNicholson

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

THOU­SANDS gath­ered in the shad­ows of Barcelona’s his­toric Na­tional Palace of Mon­tjuic to see some­thing thor­oughly mod­ern.

Fresh hand­sets, ne­ver­be­fore-seen tablets and lifechang­ing in­no­va­tions were on show last week at the world’s big­gest mo­bile phone show.

For­get phone key­pads and down­load de­lays, Mo­bile World Congress de­liv­ered 3D phone screens and a new gen­er­a­tion of phone net­works, in­clud­ing one des­tined for Aus­tralia this year.

Switched On looks at the fresh tech that could af­fect you, and that gad­get in your pocket, this year. NEED FOR SPEED AMID the global an­nounce­ments at MWC was one for Aus­tralia: Tel­stra re­vealed a plan to de­liver 4G – or fourth gen­er­a­tion – mo­bile in­ter­net ac­cess.

All ma­jor Aus­tralian cities and some yet-to-be-se­lected re­gional ar­eas will re­ceive the net­work up­grade this year.

Tel­stra chief ex­ec­u­tive David Thodey has re­vealed the net­work will typ­i­cally de­liver down­load speeds be­tween 60 and 80 megabits a sec­ond, in ad­di­tion to re­duc­ing the phone net­work’s re­ac­tion time.

‘‘The im­prove­ments are not purely about speed,’’ Thodey says. ‘‘It will in­crease the re­spon­sive­ness of hand­sets by three times. For the to­tal user ex­pe­ri­ence, from the time you press the but­ton to the time you ac­tu­ally get some­thing that’s mean­ing­ful to you, we ex­pect a three-fold im­prove­ment on what we’re get­ting to­day.’’

The 4G net­work, de­liv­ered us­ing Long Term Evo­lu­tion up­grades, will not re­place the ex­ist­ing Next G net­work, but will work along­side it on an old phone spec­trum.

To ac­cess the new speeds, users will need to buy a hand­set ca­pa­ble of us­ing the new sig­nals.

Aus­tralia will be one of a hand­ful of coun­tries to em­brace 4G phone net­works this year — a de­vel­op­ment Google chief ex­ec­u­tive Eric Sch­midt says will ‘‘pro­vide the plat­form for a set of new mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions that we can only be­gin to imag­ine’’. MO­BILE IN­NO­VA­TIONS THE mo­bile phones of 2011 will ring up new milestones. LG launched a re­birth of sorts at MWC this year, re­veal­ing the first glasses-free 3D phone to launch in Aus­tralia.

The Op­ti­mus 3D could ar­rive as soon as June and will of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent in a crowded smart­phone mar­ket, LG telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gen­eral man­ager Nathan Dunn says.

‘‘Next year we ex­pect all post-paid phone sales are go­ing to be smart­phone sales,’’ Dunn says.

‘‘With the Op­ti­mus 3D, we’re re­ally sig­nalling to the mar­ket that LG is back in the tech space.’’

The flag­ship Op­ti­mus 3D will de­liver 3D movies, games and an­i­ma­tions to the naked eye. Its 4.3-inch screen fea­tures a par­al­lax bar­rier fil­ter with an­gled slots that de­liver dif­fer­ent im­ages to each eye, trick­ing the brain into see­ing 3D im­ages.

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