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iPad 2 Head-Tracking 3D Display Via Software, Front Camera



With 3D becoming en-vogue on mobile devices like the Sprint HTC EVO 3D and the LG G-Slate, the iPad 2 is not one to be left out of the 3D craze despite being released without the 3D-capable display from Apple. That little fact isn’t stopping researchers at the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research group as the team is utilizing the available hardware capabilities of Apple’s second-generation tablet to bring 3D to the iPad 2.

Rather than utilizing a screen like the G-Slate, which requires glasses, or the glasses-free 3D display of the EVO 3D, researchers are using the front-facing camera on the tablet to track a user’s eyes and head movement. Coupled with software on the tablet, which uses an algorithm to adjust how things are shown on the screen, you get a displayed image that really looks 3D.

The best part about this latest effort to bringing 3D technology to the iPad 2 is that no special screens, screen overlays, or glasses are required, which may help keep the costs down for future 3D on a mobile device. All that’s required is a special set of algorithm coupled with the hardware requirement of a front-facing camera for head tracking.

As the head tracking technology and display algorithm would work with any device with a front-facing camera, it could also be implemented for the iPhone 4 or even ported to any one of the many capable Android smartphones with a front-facing camera.




  1. Anonymous

    04/12/2011 at 2:56 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve recently been thinking that it would be really cool if someone was able to connect the Kinect with an iPad 2. It wouldn’t work for a bunch of apps, but something like flipping pages of a book, scrolling through email or controlling iTunes from across the room would be amazing.


  2. Sam P

    04/12/2011 at 3:20 pm

    Head tracking is pretty neat, isn’t it? You’ve seen an implementation of head tracking before using the Wii, doing it with webcam video (instead of the Wii’s IR sensor) probably requires noticably more CPU power.

  3. Anonymous

    04/13/2011 at 6:54 pm

    Nice article.Thanks for sharing. Work Plan Platform

  4. LeMel

    04/13/2011 at 10:32 pm

    Isn’t this the exact method used by Nintendo 3DS with their front-facing camera? Does Nintendo own this method?

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