Sharp's e-reader ready to 'rival the iPad' by year's end, may have a 3D future

Sharp is going to launch its brand new e-reader in Japan this fall with US retail availability to follow by the end of the year. Riveting stuff, isn't it? Well, the company's President Mikio Katayama does his best to spice things up by proposing this device will aim "to rival the iPad," and it may well sport a color LCD if earlier indications still hold true, but what's really got us hot under the collar is the potential for 3D down the line. Katayama claims to have witnessed great enthusiasm for 3D -- particularly when it comes to games -- and posits it as a likely future direction for this new ebook reader. Multifunctional devices are what people want, he says, and since Sharp already has a 3D smartphone in the pipeline and a glasses-free 3D tablet display in the lab, we can't see many technical hurdles to the realization of his vision. Let's just hope his depth perception is accurate when it comes to measuring the interest in three-dee.