Apple patent hints at interactive, mid-air 3D images

Want to play with 3D holograms? Well, Apple’s working on it

Apple files a lot of intriguing patents, but few are as downright exciting as this one: a display system which lets the user interact with projected 3D objects in mid-air.

Yes, it sounds completely bonkers, but it’s all described in an Apple patent published this week by the US Patent & Trademark Office. The system outlined actually creates two 3D image projections: a primary 3D image that appears inside a display and a secondary 3D image – a copy of the primary one – that is projected into mid-air.

A gift for gamers

The primary image would likely appear inside an assembly of curved mirrors, and the secondary image can be reflected within this assembly until it exits from an opening and appears as a mid-air projection. A 3D sensor system then allows the viewer to interact with the secondary image by detecting the position and movement of his or her hands and fingers. In fact, it could allow multiple users to interact with it.

It’s a huge, tricky concept to get your head around, and something that won’t be seen for several years at the very least – but the principles are sound. Such a system could transform the way we interact with computers and gadgets, and its potential for gaming is obviously exciting. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.

[Via Patently Apple]

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