Apple awarded U.S. patent on no-glasses-required 3D display

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac “Apple has been awarded a U.S. 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,” Mikael Ricknäs reports for IDG News.

“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,” Ricknäs reports. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

Apple’s U.S. patent 7,843,449 for a 3D display system can be read in full here.

30 Comments

  1. Could be abused… An image of a work document for the boss looking from the side, and the game for the person in front of the monitor. (As long as the worker remembers not to yell out “eat hot death, zombie scum!”)

  2. I’m a bit puzzled how this works.

    If the rippled screen means that light hitting one point on a ripple will be reflected in such a way that it only reaches one viewer’s eye, then I can see that theoretically a stereo image can be generated for multiple viewers. But won’t the fact that all the other points on the rippled screen send light elsewhere mean that the proportion of the light from the projector which is able to reach an individual eye is very limited, leading to dim images ?

    However, reading through the article, it would appear that the system would allow specific and unique images to be observed by different viewers at the same time. Although not mentioned in the patent application, imagine a system that allows you to watch porn in 3D, but when your wife / mother walks into the room, she sees a National Geographic documentary instead. I suspect that could be a selling point !

  3. This is what I was waiting for. 3D without the glasses!! Who wants to wear glasses to watch 3D? Not me!! That is why I do not like 3D TV now. For it to be good the glasses has to be dumped! Hope Apple can pull it off. I would be first in line to buy one.

  4. “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.”

    Mere patent fantasies and not likely. It’s just an electronic take on those plasticized fresnel picture cards that you pivot to see the different “action” images. Just as with those somewhat blurry cards, the display angle would have to be adjusted for each point of viewing meaning the more viewers, the more degraded the image becomes for all.

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