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Head Tracking for iPad: Glasses-Free 3D Display

Perhaps, it is too early to talk about the glasses-free 3D tablets, but we cannot deny the fact that 3D is pretty much into business these days. No matter what whenever it comes to displays or cameras, 3D is the first thing that comes into the mind. Recently, a research is carried out by the Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay from the Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble at the EHCI Research Group which suggest that getting 3D display on your iPad display is plausible by using its front camera. No doubt, both of them have brought an entirely new aspect of iPad before us. So, the first question that comes in our minds is that how do they able to get glasses-free 3D on a device.

3D iPad

The answer is rather simple but complex to digest for sure. The technique used is named head tracking wherein the front camera of an iPad senses the head position of the user and adjust the perspective in view to give a 3D effect accordingly.


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Head-Coupled Perspective on Mobile Devices. We track the head of the user with the front facing camera in order to create a glasses-free monocular 3D display. Such spatially-aware mobile display enables to improve the possibilities of interaction. It does not use the accelerometers and relies only on the front camera. The demo with the targets has been inspired by the work of Johnny Lee with a Wii remote.

The user could then move their head left and right to look around a 3D object as shown in the example image above. Apple also suggests that it could also be applied to 2D objects like windows to provide some added depth to traditionally flat objects.

Talking about glasses-free 3D technology, it is worth noting here that earlier we have reports about Apple intentions of getting hand onto 3D technology and to mention one, the company has already patented for Mac desktops in 2009. However, if Apple is able to offer 3D technology in its devices that would definitely be a huge bonus for them.

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