Apple Wins Patent For A Glasses-less 3D Projector


It seems that Apple is applying its philosophy of ‘sleek, cool, and simple’ to one of its longstanding ventures, which it just won the patent for: a projector that projects a 3D image, which the viewers can enjoy unencumbered by ridiculous eye-wear.

Moreover, Apple is saying that their goal with the project is to develop an autostereoscopic 3D projection system that does not even place constraints upon what angle the viewer must be viewing from. This is quite a venture, and regardless of whether or not Apple delivers on this proposed goal, their idea seems unique when compared to other more popular approaches to the problem that are being explored by other AV technology companies; and also promises more than the prototypes designed thus far.

Apple’s idea hinges upon two driving features: a special type of reflective screen with a ripple texture and a sub-device that detects and tracks a viewer’s eye position within a given space. The basic concept is that once the system is aware of where a viewer’s eyes are in the room, it can then throw a single-pixel projection of a stereoscopic image onto a particular area of a particular ripple on the screen; the position and angle of which are being determined by the viewer’s  eye position at any given instant. The reflective screen is angularly responsive, its angles of reflection being predetermined by the viewer’s eye position. As far as the stereoscopic image itself is concerned, it is divided into two sub-images, one designated for left eye and one for the right eye, where they work together in concert to create a 3D experience when the reflected projections meet each eye.

All technical specs aside, this is a novel approach, and if it proves feasible, could circumvent the problems that are bound to plague glasses-less 3D technology that is soon to hit the market. Despite soon to come technology and patents however, a truly unencumbered and free 3D visual experience is the stuff of science fiction, at least until Apple or another company makes patents like these a reality.

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