Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays Patents Apple Hardware

Apple Patents Glasses-Free 3D Projector 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-specs-required dept.
angry tapir writes "Apple has been awarded a US patent for a display system that would allow multiple viewers to see a high-quality 3D image projected on a screen without the need for special glasses, regardless of where they are sitting. Entertainment is far from the only field in which 3D can enhance the viewing experience: others include medical diagnostics, flight simulation, air traffic control, battlefield simulation, weather diagnostics, advertising and education, according to Apple's US patent 7,843,449 for a 3D display system."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Patents Glasses-Free 3D Projector

Comments Filter:
  • Suspicious patent? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Meshach (578918) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:33PM (#34412850)
    According to a better article [macnn.com] Apple applied for the patent in 2006 but has yet to actually build any products that use the idea. Conveniently others have done the work and build products (google news search [google.ca]). This looks like some patent trolling from Apple.
    • by meheler (193628)

      I was about to ask, have they actually developed the tech or are they just blanketing a generic concept.

      • by Meshach (578918) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:47PM (#34412942)
        No. From the other article linked above [macnn.com] (emphasis mine):

        The patent was originally submitted in September 2006. Apple has expressed considerable interest in 3D tracking and interfaces, for instance through a remote concept. It has yet to implement any of its ideas in a shipping product, however, despite the newfound popularity of 3D amongst movie and gaming companies.

        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:04PM (#34413030) Journal

          It has yet to implement any of its ideas in a shipping product

          I certainly don't want to come to Apple's defense, but that isn't the same as saying they are not developing the technology. It just says they aren't shipping anything with the technology. It has only been 4 years since application, and it is entirely possible that the technology works but is incredibly expensive at this stage, or not reliable enough, or not "good" enough yet. Apple is typically NOT the first to release a product type, just the first to release a really good one. So I've heard at least, as I haven't owned an Apple product since my Mac 7600.

          I'm not saying that they aren't planning to troll, but I don't think you can jump to any conclusion based on that single fact.

          • The whole point of patenting things (aside from trolling, which is actually contrary to the point, but anyway) is to get to market first because the PTO gives you a temporary monopoly (you're expected to exploit said monopoly, as a subsidy for the effort of invention).

            Ergo, Apple filing a patent and then not getting to market promptly is kind of silly.

            • The whole point of patenting things (aside from trolling, which is actually contrary to the point, but anyway) is to get to market first because the PTO gives you a temporary monopoly (you're expected to exploit said monopoly, as a subsidy for the effort of invention). Ergo, Apple filing a patent and then not getting to market promptly is kind of silly.

              Not necessarily. They may have feared that a competitor would file a similar patent first. Even if it takes 5 years to get the invention to market they would still get 15 years of patent protection, as opposed to zero if they were not the first to file.

              There is also the likelihood of needing the full 20 years of protection, odds are someone will invent a competing technology that is clear of Apple's patent.

          • by gilgoomesh (966411) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @12:33AM (#34413868)

            I haven't owned an Apple product since my Mac 7600.

            The PowerMac 7600? You realize that you gave up on Apple just before they started getting good at making computers again?

            • by Pharmboy (216950)

              Actually I gave up Mac because Photoshop and Quark started working on PC just fine, along with all my other apps.

            • by Arkham (10779)

              The PowerMac 7600? You realize that you gave up on Apple just before they started getting good at making computers again?

              the Slashdot crowd would love the 7600. It had expansion slots, lots of memory slots, and a processor on a card that you could easily upgrade. I started out with a 7500, and upgraded the processor card 5 times, eventually putting the motherboard in a Daystar Genesis case and ending up with a dual processor 604e card.

              As a geek, I loved that design. It ran MkLinux too.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kcorder (930452)
            Agreed, it can take 5 or more years to go from patent to market in a high tech market. It's silly to think that just because no product in a couple of years since patent that it's patent trolling.
    • So the projector would have to track every pair of eyes in the audience and project a separate beam to each and every eye? Buahahahahahahaha
      Not saying it's impossible, just saying it's fucking retarded.
      • You can't do that with apple's system any way, a rear projection system could do it (with enough resolution) ... but not a single projector front projection system which reuses the lenticular. It needs quickly repeating viewing zones (and a very small viewing angle lenticular) to be able to operate in the first place. If the projector can't "see" a part of the plane behind the lenticular lens it can't put any light on it.

        • Ah fucking hell, scratch that ... I thought I read the patent half a year ago and it used a lenticular screen ... this is actually kind of clever :/

          The amount of resolution you would need for more than a couple of viewers would be immense though, and you would need 3D pattern of valleys and sinusoidal pyramids since two viewers can be above each other.

          • Why make the same "fake" post announcing how un-innovative this is, then quickly reply to the post announcing how wrong and how cool this tech is? You did it twice in the same article. Are you an Apple Marketeer or just an idiot?

            I usually avoid stories about Apple on slashdot, it brings out the culties.

    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:59PM (#34413330) Homepage

      Your Google search gives a bunch of results about products that implement glasses-free 3D with various problems that the Apple method is designed to overcome. There's also no support in your references for your claim that Apple has not built anything using the idea. They have not shipped anything using the idea. It is quite likely they have built prototype products using it.

  • by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:33PM (#34412860) Homepage

    "Dude, you know what would be really awesome?"
    "What?"
    "If there was a display system that would allow multiple viewers to see a high-quality 3D image projected on a screen without the need for special glasses, regardless of where they are sitting."
    "Dude... that would be totally awesome."
    "We should totally invent that someday"
    "Lets patent it just in case someone really does it!"
    "Yeah!"

    • by kurokame (1764228)
      Yeah, that's a lot of what's wrong with the current patent system. The other parts are that review is mainly conducted through post-hoc litigation, and that the system therefore is mainly a tool for people with lots of lawyers to fight other people with lots of lawyers while more or less freely exploiting any players with no lawyers.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:12PM (#34413078)

      If this was for a specific method or idea, we'll I'd expect to see a working display now. Unfortunately the patent is full of all kinds of obtuse language (they often are to sneak them by the examiners) so it is hard to see what they are saying but it does not look like a "Here's a specific way to make a no glasses 3D display," it looks more like a general "Well you might have a display with some angles of reflection and you might send light at them at certain angles to make 3D," kind of thing.

      So certainly does smell of patent trolling. In Apple's case I would imagine the idea isn't a "Make everyone pay us royalties," thing I would imagine it is a "Force people to sell only to us." Someone develops a 3D display that needs no glasses and fits the loose patent definitions. Apple goes after them and says "We'll sue the crap out of you if you sell to anyone but us!" Apple then can roll out the "Only 3D computer/tablet/phone/fridge magnet in the world!" and claim it as "innovation."

      Same kind of deal as with their mag safe connector. That one Apple invented, far as I know, but they won't license it to anyone, not to other computer makers, not even for people to make accessories for the Mac (and have sued people for it). They want to be able to claim it as a "special" feature, not because they put a bunch of R&D in and want to make money licensing a new technology to the world.

      So that's my bet. They hope someone else will develop a 3D display (as a practical matter Apple has no display development and manufacturing arm, they buy their panels from LG.displays, and just make the final monitor like Dell and others do) and then be able to grab it as their exclusive via their patent.

      I really favour a "Use it or lose it," provision for patents. You should have to either develop the technology, or license it to someone else in a non-trivial amount of time or the patent goes away. None of this "I'm patenting an idea so when someone else does the hard work it is mine," bullshit. You have a legit invention you want to make money off of? I'm all good with that. You want someone else to do the hard work of the inventing and creation? Screw you.

      • "Use it or lose it" may have merit. But personally, I'd be quite happy if patents (and copyrights) were completely non-transferrable as well. No more patent trolls, no more RIAA - if the creators of the work were guaranteed ownership of the work, what would that do?
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:47PM (#34413284)

          See the idea of a patent wasn't ever really that you'd keep an invention all for yourself. It was that you'd license the technology for your invention to others, so you made money for the work and creativity of creating it, and everyone benefits. Patent trolls often needn't buy patents, they just make their own. They come up with stupid patents and then sue people for licensing fees. The problem is not that they have bought or sold a patent, it is that their patent is bullshit.

          A "no licensing" thing for patents would be bad because it could reduce competition and even prevent products from coming to market. So say I work on some amazing new display technology and patent it. Wonderful stuff, going to change how things are done. However after that, I decide that I'm just not willing to go in to production of it. Too much money to start up, etc, etc, I'm just not interested. If I can't sell or license the tech, it then languishes until my patent expires. However if I can license it, no problem. I invent it and then license it out to existing display companies. I'm compensated for my work inventing it, they bring it to the mass market.

          That is the reason for patents, the reason to not just get rid of them. They can be real important in two situations:

          1) A person or small company makes a big invention. Patents keep big companies form stealing it from them and profiting off the work of others. Like if a 5 man company invented an amazing new wireless communications device that is cheap to make and effective. However since they are small, they produce them for $50 each. Motorola, being huge, can do it for $20 each. With no patents Motorola just takes their work and goes for it, and they get crushed being unable to compete.

          2) A development that takes massive amounts of money. There is tech that takes many millions, even billions occasionally in research. A company will pour a ton of money and years of work in to something because it is worth it. But it is only worth it if they can make that R&D back. Suppose a company invents a new battery with 100x the capacity of current lithium batteries that is cheap to produce. They spend $250 million doing it, and in quantity the batteries cost only $1 per cell to make. Ok well they need to sell those for like $3-4 per cell or so, maybe more, to recoup their $250 million. Remember until they've cleared that, they are making zero dollars total on the product. However a competitor? Well they could sell the cells for $2, maybe even $1.50 each. They have only the production cost, so as long as they cover that the rest is unit profit. Without patents, they could do that.

          The problem with patents currently isn't that they exist or can be licensed. It is that they are too broad, granted for too many things, and many of them are way too obvious. Parents are supposed to be for new, non-obvious things that took a lot of effort and/or creativity to make, not for any and everything. They are important to encouraging and supporting R&D, they just are too easy to abuse as it stands.

          • by dimeglio (456244)

            If patents were that easy to make, why don't you also join the bandwagon? Seriously. Yes, there is abuse and questionable use of patents - granted. However if an method is patented, it gives others an opportunity to invent an even better method of doing something. That, to me is what innovation is all about.

            • 1) Eliminate my moral system, since I believe parent trolling is wrong. It is more or less fraud in my book.

              2) Get startup funding. Filing patents is not free. Not expensive for a company to do, but a lot for an individual.

              3) Either become a lawyer or find one who was willing to work with me (probably more than one) to handle all the harassment/lawsuits/etc.

              None of those interest me, in particular the morals part. I can think of a lot of activities that I could do, some of them quite well, that I wouldn't b

              • by amentajo (1199437)

                1) Eliminate my moral system, since I believe parent trolling is wrong. It is more or less fraud in my book.

                It makes for a pretty fun day at the museum [xkcd.com], though.

                • Being a parent is a lot like being Obi-Wan when Luke asks him "So, you knew my father...". Obi-Wan straight up lied to Luke about what happened to his father. Under the circumstances, who could blame him.

                  It is not that much different then the idea of Santa Claus and a young child. Yes, you are lying to them. But, they are going to find out the truth eventually anyways. Did Obi-Wan stutter and looked surprised when Luke called him out? No, he looked him straight in the eye and owned up to it.

          • by dido (9125)

            1) A person or small company makes a big invention. Patents keep big companies form stealing it from them and profiting off the work of others. Like if a 5 man company invented an amazing new wireless communications device that is cheap to make and effective. However since they are small, they produce them for $50 each. Motorola, being huge, can do it for $20 each. With no patents Motorola just takes their work and goes for it, and they get crushed being unable to compete.

            That's generally how it's supposed

          • by IICV (652597)

            1) A person or small company makes a big invention. Patents keep big companies form stealing it from them and profiting off the work of others. Like if a 5 man company invented an amazing new wireless communications device that is cheap to make and effective. However since they are small, they produce them for $50 each. Motorola, being huge, can do it for $20 each. With no patents Motorola just takes their work and goes for it, and they get crushed being unable to compete.

            It doesn't really work like that. M

        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          would be better to require a functional prototype at application and demonstration of progress in development or commercial exploitation of a product at the time a patent is granted and every 4 years after that, failing to demonstrate and document further development or ongoing commercial exploitation will invalidate the patent,
        • "Use it or lose it" may have merit. But personally, I'd be quite happy if patents (and copyrights) were completely non-transferrable as well. No more patent trolls, no more RIAA - if the creators of the work were guaranteed ownership of the work, what would that do?

          It would mean that large corporations would bury inventors in litigation costs, since they couldn't simply purchase the patent or license it, even if the inventor really, really wanted to sell.

          Seriously, where do you get this idea? This is like saying, "I'd be quite happy if deeds to houses were completely non-transferable. That would ensure there are no crack houses." I mean, sure, but there's a lot of people who want to sell their houses who would be really upset.

      • by dimeglio (456244)

        My deep fryer has a mag safe connector. Also, Apple isn't stopping anyone from coming up with a better connector.

      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        I can safely say, that if a person buys a Mac because of magsafe connector, then (s)he's an idiot.
    • So the patent system is basically "dibs".

    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      "Dude, I have this really awesome idea"
      "Well, lets hear it"
      "If I tell you, you might copy it and even make money from it before I do"
      "Of course, because you cant copyright ideas"
      "Damn, you mean I actually have to make a product before I own the rights to it?"
      "Sure do"
      "Hmmm. I know, I'll create a patent system where you can 'copyright' an idea. That will get past that copyright 'loophole' and then you'll have to pay me to use my ideas and I'll get rich for doing nothing. I dont even have to invent anythi

      • by delinear (991444)
        There's nothing wrong with thinking things up for a living. The problem is when the system is so broken that patents can be submitted for ideas that already have prior art, or can be so vague or so broad that they allow someone to squat on a whole raft of potential innovation, or persist for so long (particularly in the field of modern electronic devices) that they're pretty much superceded years before they expire, or that they give a massively unfair advantage to the super rich or to huge corporations who
    • by MBCook (132727)
      Actually, thanks to that post you can now claim credit [xkcd.com] for this invention.
    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      "We should totally invent that someday"
      "Lets patent it just in case someone really does it!"

      No kidding.

      angularly-responsive reflective surface function; determining the left and right eye locations of at least one observer in proximity with the projection screen; projecting left and right sub-images of a three-dimensional image toward the projection screen; and angularly and intensity modulating the left and right sub-images respectively in coordination with the predetermined angularly-responsive reflective

    • "Dude, you know what would be really awesome?"
      "What?"
      "If there was a display system that would allow multiple viewers to see a high-quality 3D image projected on a screen without the need for special glasses, regardless of where they are sitting."
      "Dude... that would be totally awesome."
      "We should totally invent that someday"
      "Lets patent it just in case someone really does it!"
      "Yeah!"

      If you read the patent you'll notice that it has lots of math and such... Apple didn't just pull this out of Steve's ass.

      • by makomk (752139)

        If you read the patent you'll notice that it has lots of math and such... Apple didn't just pull this out of Steve's ass.

        I noticed this too. What it doesn't seem to have is a way to actually go from that math to a working, practical physical system that implements it. The patent seems to be very much theoretical.

  • At least quote the interesting part:

    Apple's patent describes using a special reflective screen with a rippled texture to create an autostereoscopic projection system, meaning one in which different images are projected to each eye without the need for special glasses. The system tracks the viewer's eyes and calculates their position in space. It then projects each pixel of the stereoscopic images to a precise spot on one of the screen's ripples, reflecting it into one or other of the viewer's eyes. If Apple can do this for one pair eyes, it suggests, it can project multiple images to different points on the ripples for multiple users at the same time.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      So if I lie sideways on my couch, or tilt my head to the side, it won't work?
      Colour me unimpressed.

      I've seen 3D that works without prisms or special glasses. Two concave semi-mirrors with different parabolic concavity, for example, can do the job pretty well.

      • by bodan (619290)

        Actually, it can work. The projecting surface is not necessarily rippled only horizontally, it can be rippled in both directions. Something like z = sin(x)sin(y), although I’m not sure if the two sins should be added, multiplied or something else; the patent includes pretty much every function that would work. This means they can project individual images up or down, not only left and right; it’s specifically mentioned in the patent.

        So not only you can project stereoscopic images to someone in a

      • So if I lie sideways on my couch, or tilt my head to the side, it won't work?

        "Flying car, huh? Well, what if I want to fly underwater? Or to Mars? What then, smartguy?! Pfff. Color me unimpressed."

        Go back to listening to some band that no one here has ever heard of. That will surely cement your place in the Cool Hall of Fame.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Your argument has a serious flaw: Millions of TV viewers do watch TV lying on their couches or otherwise don't keep their head aligned horisontally.
          For your flying car anology, at least try to construct a strawman that doesn't fall down by itself. Like "but you can't use it at night", or "but the range is half that of cars".

          And what does popularity of my band choices have to do with anything? That's an, um, odd way to argument for your views.

    • Re:Actual summary (Score:5, Informative)

      by adamdoyle (1665063) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:34PM (#34413200)

      Also, the headline is horrible: "Apple Patents Glasses-Free 3D Projector"

      The innovation is the surface onto which a slightly modified projector projects. There isn't much to the projector itself. Besides, most of the patent's paperwork is describing the surface - not the projector.

      • by bodan (619290) <bogdanb@gmail.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @12:14AM (#34413758)

        Not quite true. The projector has to modulate its its beam so that each projector-pixel is beamed on *a tiny specific part* of the surface-pixel (i.e., the part that is angled towards the correct eye). That’s quite hard, because each projector-pixel needs to be beamed to a *different* part of the surface-pixel, and you can’t expect the projector and the surface to be aligned to micron/second-of-arc precision (the surface will also likely be warped on the large scale in addition to its high-frequency rippling, though I don’t remember seeing that mentioned in the patent). They describe how to use the eye-tracking module to determine the alignment, though I can’t remember them describing any physical way of doing the projector-side modulation.

  • by windcask (1795642) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:36PM (#34412874) Homepage Journal

    I'm wondering if this will have productive applications that couldn't also double as video games, i.e. flight simulators and combat programs. Could this be (excuse the bad pun) a new "dimension" in interface design for those of us that use computers from day to day?

    If it is, my money says the Linux crowd will employ it first, Apple will make it sexy, and Windows will blatantly copy it. In that order.

    • If it is, my money says the Linux crowd will employ it first, Apple will make it sexy, and Windows will blatantly copy it. In that order.

      Yes, because Microsoft is so behind the game [slashdot.org]. Apple did patent this back in 2006, and as far as I am aware Microsoft don't have patents for this technology. But it is not as if it was that revolutionary an idea even back in 2006, as this paper from 2005 [ieee.org] shows.

      I am sure that it is not an easy thing to implement, so the real proof of the pudding will be when one company finally ships a commercial product. That is the problem with the patent system. You get rewarded just for coming up with an idea that you can

      • by windcask (1795642)

        Did you read any more than the last sentence of my post? It was about developing a UI using this new technology, not about the technology itself.

    • by swb (14022)

      It sounds science fiction-ish, but it's not hard to imagine a future economy where you "go to work" on some kind of computer based simulator that feels a lot like a game but where you are actually performing real work.

      I could imagine the "realism" of the actual work/gameplay -- how much it relates to the actual work being done -- might vary. For example, "recaptcha" puzzles during signup/signin to web sites has nothing to do with what you're doing but you're actually contributing "work" to some project.

      I c

  • by LodCrappo (705968) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:46PM (#34412932) Homepage

    We hope you love the third dimension as much as we do.

    Just avoid looking at it that way.

    Get a (insert competitor here) if you want porn in 3D

    etc...

  • by goldaryn (834427) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:55PM (#34412980) Homepage
    ......II ffoorr oonnee wweellccoommee oouurr nneeww 33DD oovveerrlloorrddss
  • Their method needs to track the location of the viewers' eyes, so in 3D Apple, TV watches you.

    • Their method needs to track the location of the viewers' eyes, so in 3D Apple, TV watches you.

      As a bonus, viewers can be charged per minute and per eye.

    • by windcask (1795642)

      in 3D mother Russia, TV watches you

    • by pipedwho (1174327)

      Their method needs to track the location of the viewers' eyes, so in 3D Apple, TV watches you.

      That should be _viewer's_ not _viewers'_. This may seem like a subtle distinction, but the latter implies a significant breakthrough in both physics and technology.

      If eye-tracking is required for a 3D system to work, then only a single viewer per screen can be catered for.

      The advantage of systems that use 3D glasses is that any number of viewers can watch the image at the same time.

      Oh wait... You were going for the Soviet Russia angle. As you were.

  • For those of who didn't RTFA, it looks like it tracks faces and adjusts the projected images accordingly. Let's hope Apple has a slightly better debut than HP's face-tracking software [blogspot.com].

    P.S. Come on, /. Why the heck did I have to type out the whole link. No paste for Apple computers?

    • by windcask (1795642)

      Why the heck did I have to type out the whole link. No paste for Apple computers?

      First 3D eye-tracking TVs. Then paste. Get your priorities straight.

    • No paste for Chrome on Windows either...

    • As adamdoyle noted below, Slashdot also broke paste for Chrome on Windows. I'd guess they broke it for all Webkit browsers. Works fine on Firefox on Mac and IE on Windows.

      Actually, you CAN paste if the textarea is empty, so what I do is cut from the textarea (if there is something I want to keep, like a quoted parent), edit my post in TextMate, then paste it to Slashdot for posting.

      Also, sometimes but not always, I've found that drag-and-drop still works. At least it did a few days ago. I couldn't get it to

  • by Balthisar (649688) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:16PM (#34413456) Homepage

    Okay, the subject is a bit, shall we say, Area 51-ish.

    But, seriously, Google gets all of this praise for their 20% personal project time allowance. I wonder if Apple does the same thing, but just doesn't ack it?

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:27PM (#34413496) Homepage Journal

    My brother was on a business trip in China a few months ago, and while strolling along through the airport like any other business traveler, he had a moment almost comparable to the "3D Jaws" scene in the Back-To-The-Future II? movie. He suddenly noticed a floating thing just to the side of his head, as if a big bug was about to crash into his face. He reflexively turned around and saw a 3D projection of some demonstration animation, and was completely dumbfounded. He says he stuck his arm out and was trying to grab the image. He realized afterward that he probably looked like a fool playing with thin air.

    As he described it, we were both puzzled by how it worked without special glasses. It wasn't a fast rotating laser projection plate, used in some medical monitors, because he could put his hand "through" some of the projected items. Plate rotation technology can't do that.

    • Concave mirror projector? I had one of these [youtube.com] toys as a kid (and who can forget that terrible wild-west video 'game'), and in college played around with the idea of using a projector and a computer to process images like that, but the hardware I could use wasn't up to the task. With today's GPU's it seems likely somebody is doing it.

  • porn is 3d's killer app, and apple will ban it.

  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:48PM (#34413604) Homepage

    Don't expect this to come to your local cinema any time soon.

    To project a movie with 2K horizontal resolution per eye on a 15m screen you'd need ripples to be no more than 15mm wide. You'd have to focus each pixel somewhere along a quarter section of that, 3.75mm. Assume 20 people seated every 1m, with each persons' eyes separated by about 65mm, that means to bounce a pixel off the ripple at a specific eye you'd need to divide that 3.75mm into 308 subdivisions of about 12 microns each.

    This is over 2000 ppi resolution, projected across a 15m screen by a projector over 30m away. If the imaging device were to do that directly it'd have to have a resolution of 1.25M pixels horizontally, but you'd probably have a parallax barrier to direct the light. If you had something capable of head-tracking each person on each row and adjusting views individually, each of the parallax barrier sets (you'd need one set per viewer, along with individual optics to go with it) would need to be capable of nanometre-precise positioning. It might be possible to use a single, extra-fine set of tens of thousands of individually-mobile, variable-width parallax barriers, but we'd probably start hitting quantum effects at this point :-)

    Alternatively, if people held their heads very still, you could use a nano-scaled lenticular prism with variable-length ripples on your screen and precalculated, radial, fixed seating positions, but I suspect they'd just opt for the glasses instead.

    • by makomk (752139)

      Exactly. The difficult bit here isn't coming up with the idea, it's figuring out a way to actually implement it practically. Surprise surprise, Apple's patent doesn't seem to do that.

  • The proposed method tracks the location of the observer's eyes and projects the images straight into their eyes. I'll take a pass, thank you.
  • As I read the patent claims, it appears that in order to require no eyeglasses and to allow the observer to be located anywhere relative to the screen, the 3D effect will only work with one observer. No claims allow multiple, position-independent viewers. That makes sense from a physics and optics point of view, but it is disappointing.
  • Just another wall street gang of douchebags.

  • Yeah, so Nintendo demoed this already at E3 last year [nintendo.com], but I'm sure like everything else, all the fanbois will forget that other people already came up with the cool tech, and Apple is yet again just ripping it off. Somehow, Apple will once again be touted as the most innovative rainbow ponies and gumdrops company ever (I'm sure of it).
  • Now to get good 3d television and porn without those stupid glasses you will have to overpay for something you can't watch in a room that has natural light, as the glare would be insane (being an apple product) and will cost 15x as much as the equivolent would from any other company (being an apple product).

The person who's taking you to lunch has no intention of paying.

Working...