Apple has been awarded a patent for a 3D stereoscopic display system fuelling rumour that it is considering adding 3D screen/projection technology to its products, including the iPhone, iPad or Mac computers. Alternatively, the company could be about to enter the 3DTV business - an intriguing prospect.
The patent was first applied for back in 2006, but has just been granted, and it is a step in the right direction for Apple to bring about its own form of autostereoscopic (glasses-less) 3D display technology:
"A need still remains for highly effective, practical, efficient, uncomplicated, and inexpensive autostereoscopic 3D displays that allow the observer complete and unencumbered freedom of movement," states the accompanying documentation with the patent. "Additionally, a need continues to exist for practical autostereoscopic 3D displays that provide a true parallax experience in both the vertical as well as the horizontal movement directions."
However, Apple also goes further to suggest that a future display could provide a different viewing experience for different viewers, depending on where they stand:
"A concurrent continuing need is for such practical autostereoscopic 3D displays that can also accommodate multiple viewers independently and simultaneously," the patent continues. "A particular advantage would be afforded if the need could be fulfilled to provide such simultaneous viewing in which each viewer could be presented with a uniquely customized autostereoscopic 3D image that could be entirely different from that being viewed simultaneously by any of the other viewers present, all within the same viewing environment, and all with complete freedom of movement therein."
Essentially, that means you could watch the football in 3D, while somebody else watches a movie on the same screen. Wacky stuff.
However, for now, we'll be happy for a 3D iPhone, but don't reckon we'll see anything in the next generation (iPhone 5).
What do you think? Will 3D improve the iPhone? Or do you think the new tech is for an Apple TV screen? Let us know in the comments below...