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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eye-Tracking Trick Brings Glasses-Free 3D to iPad 2

Why wait for the iPad 3, 4 or even 5? A tablet that can offer glasses free 3D is here now, thanks to a neat iPad 2 tech demo.

OK, so this isn't actually real 3D, but the neat little visual trick, which has been made possible due to the introduction of a front-facing camera on the iPad 2, sees a seemingly live 3D image on the tablets 2D screen. This little bit if visual magic, dubbed Head-Coupled Perspective (HCP), was created by a French-based team of individuals at the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research group.

Their clever trick uses a live feed from the iPad 2's front-facing camera--coupled with some custom software--to track your head in real time. The result is pretty neat--the on-screen image seems to dynamically change perspective depending on the position of your head relative to the iPad. Check it out for yourself:

Of course using movement to create visual effects like this isn't anything new. Nintendo achieved a similar visual trick with the Nintendo DSi, and some iOS apps employ a similar trick by using the built-in accelerometer to simulate depth., But this cool little tech demo (which has also been demoed on an iPhone 4) offers a glimpse at what could be achieved if a few clever developers got together.

[Via TUAW]