Apple Researching 3D Stereoscopic Displays

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    A new patent application from Apple details how to implement a 3-dimensional stereoscopic display. While 3d images have been around for years, Apple points out that computational power has advanced to the point where these true 3d images can be rendered and animated in realtime. Apple specifically explores the implementation of "autostereoscopic" systems that don't require the viewer to be wearing special glasses or goggles.

    Apple believes its system addresses issues found in previous implementations of 3d and involves tracking the observer to ensure proper rendering of the 3d image regardless of where their exact position. Their system involves real time modulation of left/right sub images to be projected to the observer's left/right eyes individually. Apple also claims it can accommodate multiple observers to provide "a unique and personal 3D visual experience to each individual observer, with each visual experience (i.e., projected image) selectively being similar or different from the others, as desired."

    As with all patent applications, we're uncertain when this will make its way out of the labs and into consumers hands, but Apple appears to be continuing to explore alternative interfaces for consumer use. What's interesting is that this is not the first time we've heard of Apple exploring stereoscopic displays. In 2002, Apple was said "to have other flat-panel technologies cooking in the labs, including stereoscopic displays."

    Article Link
  2. Shagrat macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
  3. shiunn macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2006
    does this involve straining your eyes, like when you try to look at 3d picture books?
  4. skemmuni macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2007
    Faroe Islands
  5. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
  6. sterlingindigo macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2007
    East Lansing
    Way cool...never stop innovating. Perhaps this goes hand in hand with a flip/dual screen touch technology where an image is projected from two screens that ends up somewhere in the middle.

    Kind of like Obiwan whipping out his Apple iHologram and saying to Watto, "I need parts for a J-type 327 Nubian" "Ah yes. Nubian. We have lots of that."

    Attached Files:

  7. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    no, they project different images to each eye.

  8. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    This would be awesome for GIS work. I think it could even be used in CAD as well.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Great idea, only problem is that only one person get see the 3D effect at a time. Notice the part where the ssystem tracks the vier's eye location and continously adjuusts for movement. Not a problem on a computer but it looks like this is not for a living room TV set.

    This would work well with my other idea, using the builtin webcam to sense hand movement rather then using the touch pad. Take a lot more "compute power" to use a camera but them the user could interact with the 3d objects floating in front of him. They would need two web cams to track the hands in 3D. A 3D video conference could be done too.
  10. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  11. Panu macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2005
    Virginia suburbs of DC
    This has a precedent

    Someone else already did this. I saw it. If you sat in just the right position, everything was 3-D. Some people could see the effect from 20 feet away; others needed to work at it, and still others never could see it. Software had to be written for it. They thought they could sell it to the intelligence community for when they analyze satellite maps, but it didn't sell.

    It was impressive, but not terribly useful.

    If Apple uses a different approach, which I'm sure they are doing, if they can make the effect apparent even when you aren't sitting in a precise position, and if they can build it into the user interface, it could work.

    Apple has a habit of taking the ideas behind other people's failures and making them into wild successes. Like for instance the MP3 player.
  12. ilogic macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    New Jersey
  13. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    interesting. i really don't see this coming to consumers, but you never know with apple
  14. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    It is the future. If you think how many different areas it could be used in...

    Medical, airports, army, business video conferencing... It will hit all of these first, then in 10 or 15 years time start to become a reality for consumers.

    Imagine watching a film at home that looks more like visiting the theatre for a play, except with CGI... Imagine watching a sports match and it is much closer to feeling like you are watching it live... The possibilities are endless!!

    My future children will have a ball ;)
  15. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    It says in the article that Apple tracks the position of the observer so it doesn't require sitting in a precise position.

  16. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    actually, it can handle multiple viewers

  17. mgworek macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Not good.

    My wife, who is a graphic designer, is blind in one eye. She cant see 3D and there are tons of others out there who can't.

    Until they find a way to make 3d possible with only one eye, this is pointless.
  18. Arjuna macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2008
    Sounds like Head Tracking to me

    Anyone seen the youtube video of Head Tracking for the Wii? Looks like similar technology. I'll post the link here...
  19. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I don't mean to be rude if you are serious, but if you aren't being sarcastic, you realize it is physically impossible to have 3d with only one eye, right?
  20. happydude macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2006
    a gasping dying planet
    not to be completely indifferent to your wife's plight, if any company focused on making sure every product is usefull to each and every of the 6+ billion people on earth, we'd never have anything new. just because (assumption for hyperbole) .00001% of the people out there cannot see out of one of their eyes does not mean apple shouldn't be working on developing 3D technology . . .
  21. sleepingworker macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2003
    Manhattan, NY
    And yes, your future children will have ball - only in virtual 3D!

    And don't forget games. That will probably be the first consumer developed use.
  22. AnonymousOne macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2008
  23. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    And likewise, because there are deaf people in the world, all speakers are pointless!


    Since when does a product have to appeal to 100% of the population?
  24. Lazze macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2006
    Esbjerg, Denmark
    So in other words; Stop developing displays 'cause some people are blind? -and stop developing speakers 'cause some people are deaf? :confused:

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