Apple patents an inexpensive 3-D projection system

Apple patents an inexpensive 3-D projection system

( -- The U.S. patent office has granted Apple a patent for a 3-D projection system that doesn't require the use of bulky 3-D glasses. This gives the viewer more freedom of movement and viewing angles.

The name Apple has given to this simple 3-D system is called, "Three Dimensional Display System." This auto-stereoscopic system works by projecting each pixel onto a reflective, textured surface, which is then bounced into a viewer's left and right eye separately; this produces the 3D or stereoscopic effect. By sensing the locations of both eyes of each viewer, multiple viewers could observe the 3-D effect from a variety of angles.

Apple patents an inexpensive 3-D projection system
Each pixel is aimed at a curved surface, where it reflects onto the correct eye.

Apple is not the only company that’s involved in auto-stereoscopic R&D; however Apple's patent has picked apart the limitations of three categories of auto-stereoscopic system:

1. Ghost like or transparent images in volumetric displays.
2. The viewer required to remain stationary using the parallax barrier method.
3. The use of holographic images requires greater computer power and larger bandwidth, keeping the commercial cost higher that is required for other auto-stereoscopic systems.

Apple patents an inexpensive 3-D projection system
Apple's auto-stereoscopic system tracks where the viewer is located and tailors its display to your position.

Apple’s main objective is to develop a 3-D glass-free auto-stereoscopic system that would give viewers the freedom to move around without being tied down to bulky 3-D glasses. ’s also promises to keep costs low and simplifying the system while maintaining performance.

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Apple patent application for 3D viewing glasses

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Citation: Apple patents an inexpensive 3-D projection system (2010, December 3) retrieved 25 October 2021 from
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