updated 05:55 pm EDT, Mon April 11, 2011
Technique only uses head-movement tracking
Researchers in France have developed a technique for showing 3D on the screen of an iPad 2 without glasses and, more interestingly, without need of the accelerometer. The technique is based entirely on "head-tracking," or using the movements of the user's head as picked up by the front-facing camera, essentially turning the iPad's camera into a basic Kinect-type device -- which could have great implications for future 3D gaming on iOS devices with front-facing cameras, MacStories reports.
The demonstration video (below) was created by Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Laboratory of Informatics at the EHCI Research Group. The monocular 3D effect is easy to see in the video and easily shows off a spatially-aware display that could be used in a variety of ways, including (as seen at the end of the video) an expanded desktop. Other possibilities include previewing 3D renders in CAD program, adding depth to artwork such as comic books, and of course improving the gaming experience.
A fuller implementation of this technology could take away one of the few advantages of Nintendo's latest portable gaming console, the 3DS, which also uses glasses-free 3D. Apple could conceivably implement the technology at the system level or as an API, bringing 3D gaming to future iPod Touch and iPhone devices. [via MacStories]