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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's patent applications always provide an interesting peek into what Apple researchers have been working on. In one of the more interesting patent applications we've discovered, Apple appears to be researching 3D displays in which the user will be able to look around an object.

In order to view a 3D object from various angles on your screen at present, you are required to use the mouse or keyboard to manipulate the object. This might simply involve clicking and dragging to pan or rotate an object. While functional, Apple considers this to be unintuitive and potentially frustrating to new users.


Apple proposes that a display could change the perspective of the 3D objects based on the users' relative position. Said display would detect the user's position through any suitable approach (such as video, infrared, electromagnetic fields etc...). Video, of course, is the most likely possibility with a camera mounted at the top of the display itself, thus allowing the computer to determine the user's location and position. The user could then move their head left and right to look around a 3D object as shown in the example image above. Apple also suggests that it could also be applied to 2D objects like windows to provide some added depth to traditionally flat objects:


In fact, Apple suggests that software could be so advanced as to incorporate elements of the user's environments into the scene on the display. For example, the electronic device may define visual properties of different surfaces of the displayed object (e.g., reflection and refraction characteristics), and apply the visual properties to the portions of the detected image mapped on each surface. Using this approach, surfaces with low reflectivity (e.g., plastic surfaces) may not reflect the environment, but may reflect light, while surfaces with high reflectivity (e.g., polished metal or chrome) may reflect both the environment (e.g., the user's face as detected by the camera) and light. To further enhance the user's experience, the detected environment may be reflected differently along curved surfaces of a displayed object (e.g., as if the user were actually moving around the displayed object and seeing his reflection based on his position and the portion of the object reflecting the image).
Apple has been researching these sorts of novel display types for years. Back in 1995, they had even had a similar system built in the lab and referred to these displays as "Hyper Reality" displays. Apple, of course, is not the only company working on such technology. This YouTube video shows this system in action (thanks djellison) on a make-shift Wii system, demoed by Johnny Lee:



Article Link: Apple Working on 3D 'Hyper-Reality' Displays
 
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t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
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Sounds like Johnny's pseudo 3D work - Desktop VR display.

If only Apple had bought zcam? Guess they might not have done Project Natal like Microsoft is doing. Good to see potential of pseudo coming through. guess there is an option to bring this in, as an alternative/prior to 3D monitors becoming mainstream (if at all).

Time for them to patent having accelerometers in the Apple remote/sync up with Touch/iPhones?
Edit - is Apple late on this - Seeing as Johny joined Microsoft a few months ago (his http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/ blog has him mentioning it Project Natal back in June - does Microsoft have patents prior to Apple on this?
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,379
5,657
So that's how Mac OS X (10.7) gonna look like ? :eek:

I think they'll save that for 11...

An issue with this is the fact that you couldn't have two people looking at the same screen.

+ I imagine you'd get dizzy using it.
 

WiseWeasel

macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2003
14
0
Bay Area, CA
They should use the magnetometer and accelerometers/orientation sensors on the iPhone for this. Spin around with your phone to look at various perspectives of a 3D object.
 

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,524
1,287
They won't stop until it's like Cowboy Bebop.

Next, we use hand gestures in air to zoom in and out through objects on screen.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
A patent application does not mean that they really have been working/researching on that technology. It could just be science-fiction with a patent paper.
 

Thex1138

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2009
990
0
Sydney, Australia
Alternate Power Source

Hey Apple how about using infrared the same way that johnny does with Wii... but bounce and detect the infrared from the back of my retina... you know... the dreaded red-eye effect... put it to good use with location tracking... You can get all the info that Johnny did... straight from the noggin of the iPhone user... and the infrared [at a Johnny-be-good wave length] wont even be noticed by the viewer... but the detector will work on the phone...and use the location, orientation, distance data... applied to say iTouch/iPhone/Tablet/Slate/Ikea Catalog type devices.... :D

:apple:
 

GroundLoop

macrumors 68000
Mar 21, 2003
1,580
54
OK...I have to say it...

Imagine what this could do for the pr0n industry...

"Damn, can't quite see...oh wait...<moves head>...OH YEAH!"

;)

Hickman
 

lifeinhd

macrumors 65816
Mar 26, 2008
1,423
49
127.0.0.1
I'd rather click and drag an object rather than move my head (and by extension, whole upper torso) to see the sides of it. Sorry Apple.
 

Jayomat

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2009
703
0
it "may be" useful for apps like autoCAD, you but not for everyday computing.. I agree with what has already been said: turning your head and torso will become uncomfortable after a while... and by the way: i don't think it more intuitive to move your head to see "what's behind the object".. to me it would be far more natural to try to "move" the object instead of myself..
 

pesc

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2006
159
0
Apple proposes that a display could change the perspective of the 3D objects based on the users' relative position. Said display would detect the user's position through any suitable approach (such as video, infrared, electromagnetic fields etc...). Video, of course, is the most likely possibility with a camera mounted at the top of the display itself, thus allowing the computer to determine the user's location and position. The user could then move their head left and right to look around a 3D object as shown in the example image above.

Right! Because all Apple screens always have one single user in front of it, never multiple users. There will never be a situation where several users want to look at the screen together, discussing what they see.

Incidentally, this is why glossy glassy glary screens work so great with Apple, there is always a single user and he can easily adjust his position to minimize glare. (But wait a minute, what if he both wants do duck from glare and see the 3D object from a different angle?)

</dreeping-bitter-sarcasm>
 

tomozj

macrumors newbie
Jan 29, 2004
29
0
UK
That would force a lot more Mac Pro/Mini owners to purchase Cinema Displays....

Greedy Apple...;)

Hickman

Hardly - it's just a input device. If they were to use something else mentioned such as electromagnetic waves then that surely would need an Apple monitor as it's quite specialised, however due to it being a camera a USB one should do.
 

CodeJingle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
585
212
Greater Seattle, WA
Seems like a cheaper replacement for a holographic display. This has already been done for static content (pre-recorded content), but hasn't had much luck with anyone developing the technology for dynamically generated content.

Although with holographic displays, not only does the view change with perspective, but the view is also 3D. Yes this technology would be much cooler if applied to a stereoscopic monitor. Then you get depth and perspective.

To a lesser extent this is sort of the inverse of a VR headset. Instead of immersing yourself in a world looking out, you are instead outside looking in.
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
0
51st State of America
I hope when this technology comes out, Apple would have seen sense to give us a matte screen as default otherwise the pain with glossy screens will have a multiplier effect. I might just go postal with moving the screen and the content on the screen also shifts in accordance!
 
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