Points to 'viewing and manipulation of 3D objects in 3D space'

Apple files patent for glasses-free 3D projector

Apple has filed a patent which suggests that the company is looking to introduce a 3D video projector system in the future.

The iPhone-maker has been granted a patent for “Three-dimension display system” which describes a process that will allow several users to view 3D images without glasses.

The intensely technical patent describes an innovative process of tracking the eyes of viewers and projecting images onto a rippled screen in such a way that image separation can be achieved between left and right eyes for an auto stereoscopic effect.

In essence the projection system performs some clever maths to work out exactly how much to shift the left and right images so that they hit different parts of the rippled projection screen and thus are deflected at the very slightly different angles needed to hit each of the eyes of the observer.

It’s impressive stuff but it’s also on the bleeding edge with regards to what’s possible regarding motion tracking and digital projection so some form of actual product may be some time away.

Apple appears to be aware of some of the more interesting applications for the technology such as this titbit from the patent:

“Another important such aspect of the present invention is that it enables and provides for an unobtrusive 3D viewing system that combines feedback for optimizing the viewing experience in combination with provisions for 3D observer/user input, thus enabling viewing and manipulation of 3D objects in 3D space without the need for special viewing goggles or headgear.”

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