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  • Apple Hints at Future 3D-Capable iPhones in New Patent Applications

    If you're among the crowd who feels it's never too early to think about a next generation iPhone, you're going to love this. Of course, if last month's release of the iPhone 4 is still too fresh (or too frustrating) in your memory to even contemplate a 5th generation iPhone, I can understand that as well. Nonetheless, some clues may have surfaced about a new attribute headed for a future generation iPhone.

    According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has filed two patent applications for features that would allow a future iPhone to capture both video and still pictures and then acquire from that digital content the information needed to render an object (in the video or photo) in 3D. The result? The creation of a world of 3D imagery within your own virtual environment.

    But how would it all work? Well, based on the information gleaned from one of the two patent applications (and corresponding diagrams), it appears that the iPhone will ultimately capture more than just photos and videos. That is, when capturing such content, the device may also employ everything from GPS to motion sensors in order to generate the aforementioned three-dimensional rendering of the your surroundings.

    The other application ("Three Dimensional Navigation Using Deterministic Movement of an Electronic Device") takes this concept further by addressing how one can do more than just record images or video in 3D. Instead, this patent application contends with actually navigating a 3D space and enabling recording for future playback.

    From the patent: "By walking with the device in the user's real environment, a user can virtually navigate a representation of a three-dimensional environment. In some embodiments, a user can record an object or environment using an electronic device, and tag the recorded images or video with movement information describing the movement of the device during the recording. The recorded information can then be processed with the movement information to generate a three-dimensional model of the recorded environment or object."

    Of course, one could debate just how practical or useful such technologies would prove on a forthcoming iPhone update. But Apple has clearly endeavored to make the iPhone and all future generations more than just a smartphone. If so, these 3D escapades could certainly add another unique "dimension" - pun intended - to the iPhone's arsenal of futuristic attributes.

    Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Hints at Future 3D-Capable iPhones in New Patent Applications started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. mmurphmsu's Avatar
      mmurphmsu -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      WHAT??? Does this have to do with the news topic?

      Well the iPod was not the first MP3 player and look how successful it is/was.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      That's what Nintendo is doing!

      Oh well, I guess iPhone 3D would be nice. Hopefully glasses-free as well like the 3DS.
      Silly. Stereoscopic 3D is to make things "pop" from the display. This is 3D like polygonal 3D graphics, which became the norm for videogames in the mid 1990s and, indeed, have been available on the regular Nintendo DS since launch in 2004.

      It's saying that it can create a 3D scene/model for rendering using a combination of sensor data. If it can track you walking around a car and use the GPS/gyro to know exactly where the camera was pointed, it can build a 3D model of that environment/object with the right software. Intel announced something like it at an IDF conference many years ago.
    1. Bassface's Avatar
      Bassface -
      This is going to be sweet I can't wait.
    1. ChrisRC1985's Avatar
      ChrisRC1985 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mmurphmsu View Post
      Well the iPod was not the first MP3 player and look how successful it is/was.
      dont forget about the iPad. Its a kindle on steroids
    1. captainmccool's Avatar
      captainmccool -
      See, this is the kind of thing that has to happen on every generation of iPhone from now on. In my mind, unless I'm forgetting something, all of the hypothetical features that we've been talking about since the first iPhone was released have been implemented. I'm saying front facing cam, multitasking, 720p video; all the obvious stuff. From here on out they're going to have to A. Obviously improve on these things that already exist but also B. Start implementing things that we've never even thought of, at least not realistically. Technology is about to take a turn towards the unexpected since it evolves exponentially and we're heading upwards very quickly. But I agree about the iPhone 4 jb :-).
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Now if only Apple would allow me to play my PS3 on my Iphone, haha
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I wonder if apple will fix the antenna problem on the iPhone 5.
    1. santiagodraco's Avatar
      santiagodraco -
      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post

      Mate, you need to closely read what Apple is trying to do and what Nintendo has already done.
      One thing that every one has to agree on is Apple ALWAYS delivers. They have always added such features which make them #1, which no other phone/device has ever released, aka gyroscope. And obv pretty soon you can see HTC and moterola copying them.

      Have you even seen the features that iPhone has which no other phone has ever attempted to do? I mean really lol.
      You mean like the magical antenna ring around the phone?
    1. joshbot's Avatar
      joshbot -
      To multiply the already super kick *** potential of this idea I have 2 words: holographic display.
    1. XploitThis's Avatar
      XploitThis -
      I was very excited with the inception of 3D tv and am salivating over the concept of 3D mobile technology. The next step following handheld 3D devices, in logical progression, would have to be self-navigating automobiles right?... or more accurately named "aumatic-mobiles" since the prefix auto means self. No more automobiles?! Nice.
    1. pizzafootbal's Avatar
      pizzafootbal -
      C'mon Apple, skip 3D, go 4D!