Apple working on 3D ‘Hyper-Reality’ displays (with images, video)

“Apple’s patent applications always provide an interesting peek into what Apple researchers have been working on. In one of the more interesting patent applications we’ve discovered, Apple appears to be researching 3D displays in which the user will be able to look around an object,” Arnold Kim repots for Mac Rumors.

“In order to view a 3D object from various angles on your screen at present, you are required to use the mouse or keyboard to manipulate the object. This might simply involve clicking and dragging to pan or rotate an object,” Kim reports. “While functional, Apple considers this to be unintuitive and potentially frustrating to new users.”

Kim reports, “Apple proposes that a display could change the perspective of the 3D objects based on the users’ relative position.”

Kim reports, “Back in 1995, they had even had a similar system built in the lab and referred to these displays as “Hyper Reality” displays. Apple, of course, is not the only company working on such technology. This YouTube video shows this system in action (thanks djellison) on a make-shift Wii system, demoed by Johnny Lee:”

Direct link to video via YouTube here.

More info and patent app illustrations in the full article here.

Apple’s U.S. patent application (20090313584) filed June 17, 2008, published December 17, 2009, is here.


  1. For those of you already playing Labyrinth 3D on your iPhones and iPod Touch, it is essentially the same concept. The difference is that in Labyrinth 3D, it senses the tilting of the accelerometer and changes the graphics to adapt with the new position of the accelerometer, hence you will see the “virtual table” moving accordingly. Hyper-reality uses head-tracking to do basically the same trick.

  2. Get the December issue of Esquire magazine. They have a very cool demo called “augmented reality” but it uses this tracking method quite well. Granted it tracked this odd square shape in the magazine but once locked in it gives you a excellent visual of perspective changes depending on where you move it.

    Plus they use it through the magazine so it’s just not only the cover demo.

  3. The coolest thing I’ve ever seen was at the old Museum of Holography which was in New York City back in the ’80’s but went defunct. I guess there’s one in Chicago now. Anyway, it had actual 360 degree holograms that you could walk all the way around. I remember an apple rendered twice on two different pedestals, one in color and the other in black and white, and damn if it didn’t look like you could reach out and touch it, but it was just a projection. I’ve never seen an actual holographic projection like that since then, and that was 1982.

  4. It’s a clever idea, but what happens when there are two people watching ? Presumably only one of them will be tracked ? How does it determine who is tracked and that it continues to track that particular person ?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.