December 27, 2010
Patent Suggests Apple Working On 3D Display Screen
Apple has been awarded a patent for a new type of display screen capable of producing 3D and holographic images without using special eyewear, Telegraph Science Correspondent Richard Gray reported on Sunday.
"The technology could be used to produce a new generation of televisions, computer monitors and cinema screens that would provide viewers with a more realistic experience," Gray said.
"The system relies upon a special screen that is dotted with tiny pixel-sized domes that deflect images taken from slightly different angles into the right and left eye of the viewer," he added. "By presenting images taken from slightly different angles to the right and left eye, this creates a stereoscopic image that the brain interprets as three-dimensional."
According to the Telegraph report, the patent also suggests that the screen will be able to keep track of multiple sets of eyes, allowing more than one individual at a time to see the three-dimensional or holographic images without compromising picture quality.
The patent reportedly claims that the new device will "produce viewing experiences that are virtually indistinguishable from viewing a true hologram"¦ a direct result of the ability to track and respond to observer movements."
Furthermore, according to Gray's article, the patent claims that, "By tracking movements of the eye locations of the observer, the left and right 3D sub-images are adjusted in response to the tracked eye movements to produce images that mimic a real hologram"¦ The invention can accordingly continuously project a 3D image to the observer that recreates the actual viewing experience that the observer would have when moving in space around and in the vicinity of various virtual objects displayed therein. This is the same experiential viewing effect that is afforded by a hologram."
Apple told the Telegraph that they do not comment on patents.
The patent has fueled speculation that Apple is either planning to enter the 3D television market, or could be planning new iPods, iPads, and/or iPhones that could display images in three-dimensions or create holographic images.
It should be noted that last week, as part of their annual "Five In Five" list of predictions about what tech innovations would become available over the next five years, IBM predicted the development of 3D capable smartphones. Said devices, they predicted, would make it possible to engage in real-time video chats with 3D holograms of friends and family, according to AFP reports.
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