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James Cameron Smartly Sees 3D Smartphones' ROI

James Cameron, the award-winning director of Avatar and Titanic is banking on 3D Technology moving from the big screen to smartphones, as smaller screens don't require 3-D glasses. This epiphany was apparently rooted in economics. While Avatar is historically one of the highest-grossing movies with over $2.6 billion at the box office internationally- it also earned the distinction of being one of the most pirated movies of all times.

James CameronJames CameronNot happy to just walk away with a couple of billion, I'm sure Cameron was thinking about the additional million that were stolen by those shooting the film in theaters with their smartphone webcams. So with that motivation, he's working on projects to get 3-D content for our mobile devices.  At CTIA in Las Vegas, addressinCTIA  2010 - Las VegasCTIA 2010 - Las Vegasg an audience of telecom developers, he said, "Think about putting this stuff into your apps, because it's coming. It's coming faster than even we thought, and we were the proselytizers, the evangelists, for this."

"I think we're going to see stereo[scopic 3-D] ubiquity in five years," he explained. "I think it will percolate to handhelds and laptop devices -- this is where the big breakthrough is going to be in the next few years." With telecom giants such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T pushing towards next-generation networks, Cameron acknowledged that 4G will be key to providing 3D services, but cautioned that there is still plenty of work to do.

Nintendo jumped on the 3-D bandwagon as well saying that the next generation of its DS handheld video game console would come with a 3-D display and go on sale within a year.

As an aside, Cameron mentioned that he had founded a small startup to develop 3-D technology and train people in their use, although he was understandably tight-lipped on details.

And if you don't think Cameron is serious about the ROI he can garner from the lucrative smartphone market, I think he best summed it up at the convention... when the filmmaker was asked to describe how he felt when his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow and her film The Hurt Locker beat him out for best picture at the Academy Awards, he simply replied, "If I had to choose between the trophy and the $2.6 billion, I would go for the $2.6 billion."

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Ron Callari
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