View Full Version : Apple gets patent for "glasses-free" 3D

03-12-10, 10:47
Apple has been granted a patent for an autostereoscopic system of 3D viewing, in other words, 3D without the glasses a la the Nintendo 3DS.

There are plenty of companies interested in 3D display technology, given that it’s the latest craze, and getting rid of the goofy glasses is a major boon. Yesterday, we heard news of the Cowon 3D portable media player with its glasses-free three dimensional display.

Apple notes in the patent that both active and passive 3D glasses “have not met with widespread acceptance because observers generally do not like to wear equipment over their eyes.”

“In addition, such approaches are impractical, and essentially unworkable, for projecting a 3D image to one or more casual passersby, to a group of collaborators, or to an entire audience such as when individuated projections are desired.”

Yes, not only is Apple planning to do away with the specs, but also build a system whereby multiple viewers can watch a display and all enjoy three dimensions, whatever angle they’re sitting at.

According to C-net, the technology would work by having each pixel projected onto a reflective, textured surface, which is sent into a viewer’s left and right eye separately, producing the 3D illusion. The system will apparently sense the location of every viewer’s eyes, to allow for a viewing audience, not just an individual.

It sounds like very smart stuff, but just because Apple has filed the patent, doesn’t mean that its 3D viewing system is around the corner. Whether it will be realised, or this is just a piece of patent protection which Apple thinks might come in useful one day at a long shot, only time will tell.

Legend of Lara
03-12-10, 10:56
wow omg 3D


03-12-10, 11:05
Read the article again. Apple did not patent all of glasses-free 3D. What they did patent was a specific way to implement glasses-free 3D, for use with a projector and for more than viewer at a time. This specific technology is new, hence it gets a patent. It does not preclude anyone else from implementing multi-viewer glasses-free 3D in a different way.

The patent system is broken, sure. But this is not an example of that.

03-12-10, 11:15
A year later

Apple: you can get them free!

me: whats the catch?

Apple: well, you have to pay a grand for a contract to have them.

me:*walks of*

good old apple

03-12-10, 12:14
There are plenty of companies interested in 3D display technology, given that it’s the latest craze, and getting rid of the goofy glasses is a major boon.

3D isn't anything new, it will die out once again as it did in the mid 80's. So, if you want to go through the trouble with patents and hopes of this latest craze rebirth continuing indefinitely, don't be crying when it's all over. And it will be soon enough, mark my words on that.

03-12-10, 13:55

03-12-10, 14:18
Anything 3D i've seen, be it a film at the cinema, or testing one of those new 3D TVs has made me feel queasy. I'm perfectly happy with HD until they can stop me feeling ill watching something thanks.

And besides, if it's made by apple, everyone will want one, it will be HUGELY overpriced, will be released 6 months later with more/better features, and something better will come along soon after.