Apple patents glasses-free 3D technology

Apple has been granted a patent on a method of projecting a 3D image that can be perceived properly without glasses.

Photo credit: US Patent and Trademark Office

Apple has been granted a patent on a method of projecting a 3D image that can be perceived properly without glasses.

Under the proposed system, each pixel would be projected onto a reflective, textured surface, and then bounced into a viewer's left and right eye separately, producing the 3D — or stereoscopic — effect. It would sense the locations of the eyes of each viewer, so multiple people could watch from a variety of angles.

The goal of this new technology is "inexpensive auto-stereoscopic 3D displays that allow the observer complete and unencumbered freedom of movement", according to the application granted by the US Patent Office on Tuesday. In other words, 3D displays should have no need for special glasses, and viewers should not be limited by viewing angle, or be forced to sit and not move in order to see the 3D effect.

For more on this story, read Apple patents glasses-less 3D projection on CNET News.