Apple has been granted a patent on a way to project 3D images without the use of glasses. The picture above is super easy to understand but on the off chance you don't get it: pixels will be projected on reflective and textured surfaces. The reflected pixels are then bounced into your left and right eyes. Voila, stereoscopic effect.
Apple and I clearly have something in common, we think 3D glasses look silly. Their technology will rely on "inexpensive auto-stereoscopic 3D displays that allow the observer complete and unencumbered freedom of movement," which means no glasses and you don't have to sit still to enjoy. It will also be capable of sensing multiple eyes so more than one person can watch the 3D projection at once.
The patent also delves into why other 3D technology isn't good enough. It calls out the current systems being used by auto-stereoscopic phones and presumably the Nintendo 3DS. Sharp and Toshiba plan on releasing glasses-less 3D TVs in Japan by the end of the year. The problem with their technology, according to the patent, is that a need still exists for the viewer to remain stationary. Apple's goal is to offer consumers affordable and practical 3D technology.
The patent was originally filed back in 2006 and has just been approved so don't expect any groundbreaking product from them anytime soon. I'm glad Apple is taking on 3D technology though. Do you think they will challenge the Nintendo 3DS and make their own 3D gaming device?