A new patent shows the direction Apple may be taking with augmented reality, displaying 3D images without special glasses.
It’s no secret Apple CEO Tim Cook prefers augmented reality (AR) to virtual reality (VR). He has expressed his belief that AR is more social and inclusive, keeping people connected to the world and people around them. Another advantage of AR is the lower technical requirements, although it doesn’t offer the same impressive level of immersion as VR is capable of.
A newly-granted patent, first spotted by AppleInsider, indicates Apple may be working on addressing those issues, with an iPhone screen that will display 3D images — without the need for special glasses. Titled “Split-screen driving of electronic device displays,” the patent describes using a flat screen, such as an iPad or iPhone, to display 3D images.
Like many tech companies, Apple files many patents, some of which never see the light of day. The patent also doesn’t show how Apple intends to overcome the challenges of creating a 3D image without glasses or headset, which work by sending separate images to each eye.
If Apple’s plans come to fruition, however, a future iPhone may be the closest thing yet to science fiction-style, handheld hologram communicators.