Video: New Technology Offers Glasses-Free 3D Display

Apr 13, 2011 3:00 PM PST

GRENOBLE, France — A developing technology may offer glasses-free 3D to Apple’s iPad and iPhone.

The technology, known as Head-Coupled Perspective, uses the front-facing camera on a mobile device to create a glasses-free monocular 3D display.

The projected 3D image can change its perspective and offer greater interaction by tracking the position of the user’s head, CNET.com reports.

A couple of researchers in the Engineering Human Computer Interaction research group at the Grenoble Informatics Laboratory developed the technology.

"Our technique uses the front-facing camera of the device to detect and track the face of the user," said Jeremie Francone, a Ph.D. student at the lab. "This way, it is possible to know 'how' the user looks at the display. Does he look from the front, or from the right? Is the display close or far from the user's face? Knowing such information enables us to adapt the display accordingly, giving the user the illusion that he looks at a small window instead of a 2D flat screen."

Francone said that while the technique is nothing new, adapting the technology for mobile devices is. The researchers said that mobile devices are well suited to the technology because they allow for greater interaction and take advantage of the user's ability to move.

Francone added that the technology could hit the marketplace without delay because it works on current mobile devices with no other equipment required. But there are limitations due to the limited view of the built-in camera in which the perspective is unable to adjust if the user moves out of the shot.

Overall, though, the user tests performed so far have yielded "very encouraging results," Francone added.

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