There’s been a lot of buzz on the internet today about i3D, a new app that uses the front facing camera on the IPhone 4, iPad 2, and iPod Touch to track the viewer’s head in real time and adjust the perspective of an object on screen to simulate 3D. Is this the answer for glasses-free 3D? Sort of. While similar tech is almost certainly going to be shown at E3, in the form of head tracking on the new Forza game for Xbox 360 Kinect, there isn’t a lot of application for it in the near term.
Can this technology help glasses-free 3D? Yes. One of the techniques currently being worked on in CE labs is using cameras to track where people are sitting and the angle to the TV, and adjust floating lenticular lenses accordingly. While this kind of technology is still very much a prototype, many think that this is how glasses-free 3D will eventually become a practicality, unless holodecks suddenly become real and affordable first. Until that time, this kind of head tracking will likely stay firmly in the software realm, running interactive content, but not linear entertainment like a feature film, in our near future.