iPad 2 and iPhone 4 3D demonstration, no glasses required [video]

The EHCI Research Group has produced a demonstration video of 3D without glasses on an iPad 2 and iPhone 4 that will make your jaw drop to the floor! The possibility of glasses–free 3D hitting iOS devices has just become a reality.

Head-Coupled Perspective (HCP) on mobile devices allows to create a glasses-free monocular 3D display. It is based on a efficient head-tracker that uses the front-facing camera of the device. We use an off-axis projection in order to adapt the perspective of the 3D scene according to the head's position of the user. Such spatially-aware mobile display enables to improve the possibilities of interaction.

The videos are after the break, you have to see them to believe how good they are. When you have, let us know what you think in the comments!

[EHCI via macstories]

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 57 comments. Add yours.

masterbatorium says:

The wii head tracking was achieved using a completely different technique. If required the infrared camera in the wiimote to track two infrared emitters that you would strap to your head (mounted on the sides of glasses).
This technology is probably doing facial recognition to track your head movement, and requires no additional hardware. It is a very clever technology use of the front facing camera, and ignoring battery issues it is a great idea.

Dan says:

I didn't say they used a different method, but you are blind if you think they didn't reuse code from that method. Don't pretend this was first achieved on the ipad/phone. (and it certainly isnt the first to use a camera for head tracking either)

Schrutefarms says:

Dan, you don't have to be so sensitive.

travist6983 says:

You beat me to this comment still pretty sweet though

JGTTHD says:

WOW!!! anyways we can demo it on our devices?????

Jirka says:

Try Jenga in AppStore :-)

RRP Video says:

I was prepared to be let down. Now, all I can say is WOW!

Brameriz says:

Is this A Brand New Phone or is This An Update to the IPhone 4 ? TeamBON

Binja says:

This needs to be in Cydia. Like, now.

NevadaScott#IM says:

It is in Cydia. at least a form of it. something like 3d spring board. not quite the same thing though.

nickpthemft says:

The one in Cydia doesn't use head tracking, but instead uses the gyroscope to create a "3D" effect. Unfortunately, it doesn't work anywhere NEAR as well as this seems to work.

Domenico says:

This is too good to be true...

julevi says:

I agree with you. I do think this was more about possibilities than practicality though. Plus there are battery improvements being made all the time, so within 2 years maybe? Sure looks cool!

Matt says:

This trick has been used on the DSi (in a DSiWare game if I'm not mistaken) for the last year or so...

marktaylor#AC says:

3D is really overrated. Sure, its cool technology - but it gets annoying after a while.

TFausett says:

That's pretty cool, but I still don't like 3D.

Dutchmasta says:

u should like an old grumpy person... who cares

Karolisk says:

I'm not impressed at all. Of course it is a good technology, but: 1) it is useless
2) consumes a lot of battery life
3) works only in perfect conditions(it wont work when its dark)

Brad says:

That is what deepend and or 3Dboard needs to be like. Or is jailbreak the only future for something like this? Could/will apple utilize this?

nickpthemft says:

I hope these guys enjoy their new position and perks with Apple.

Carioca32 says:

Of course, because top notch French researchers have no greater ambition than to work at Apple.

nickpthemft says:

Sometimes it's not about anything more than the almighty dollar. And as far as tech R&D goes, nobody really has more money than Apple.

nickpthemft says:

Just had a thought when watching this...I wonder how well it works with non-static images? More to the point, this video was produced demonstrating images that are static in nature, such as the varied-height targets, and the "cubed" home screen. I wonder how well it would work with games and videos?

John says:

looks good, but still not convinced on the 3d thing yet. but yeah this needs to be in cydia.

unchew says:

for select apps this would be amazing i wouldnt want the whole os to be like this though but awesome work keep it up man

Matt says:

This is not the first time this method at creating a 3D affect on a smartphone has been done. This is very much like VR Hologram for Windows Mobile produced by Pauloke on XDA in 2008. Here's the link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=425216.
Obviously this one for the iPhone is much more advanced, but I feel, that like VR Hologram, it is bound to lose its 'wow' affect a few hours, if not minutes, once you begin to use it. It will start to become irritating and you will want to remove it.
I also feel that 3D is best left for certain aspects and applications, such as pictures and videos, etc.

OxMuzzle says:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/idesktopvr/id346486982?mt=8
This app has been around for a while now. Does the same stuff from the Johnny Lee video.

TumnusMr says:

That app just uses accelerometers to create the effect. The above videos are using head tracking to let you 'look' around the '3D' environment. Of course that has also been in the app store for a while:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/holotoy/id360692282?mt=8
Whether they have simply implemented a better headtracking algorithm than what Holotoy uses I don't know, but Holotoy doesn't work very well. It is laggy, inaccurate and often loses the lock in my experience. The effect also simply doesn't seem to work as well on a screen as small as a phone.
This headtracking would be good on a XBox or PS3 FPS game with a big TV.

Lars says:

Ugh... The pretentious piano music in the videos is driving me nuts.
Also, the writer of this article seems to be not quite clear on the distinction between:
A) A rendered 3D perspective - what this does and "3D games".s
and
B) Actual 3D perception due to each eye seeing different images (what occurs in 3D films/TV and on handhelds with 3D screens)
Both of these could be combined to some interesting effect - BUT THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

InizialeR says:

Bye 3DS. I wonder how this could affect iPad 2 gaming.

DavidSights says:

Very impressive! Doesn't seem like a 3D screen you'll be able to share however. I wonder what happens when two faces enter the camera view.

Anon says:

Um...nobody thinks this is fake? You're watching this in a YouTube video on a 2D screen, and somehow the images pop right out of the phone...no smoke & mirrors here ;)

Anon says:

Now I get it, it's redrawing a 2d image from the perspective of your current viewing location to make it appear 3d, smart but still 2d, and not the same as 3ds

Shrike says:

Erm, the 3DS is still 2D as well. It's just using a parallax barrier so that one eye sees one image and the other eye sees another. The brain does the rest. The parallax barrier is cheaper, but then again, this method appears to work in more viewing angles resulting in higher data and design requirements. The key here is obviously the latency between camera, software to screen drawing is low enough to trick the viewer that you're looking at a 3D object through "real-time" perspective change.
Not sure if there is enough computational power in the iPad 2 to simulate a 3D game while tracking head movements, changing perspective in real-time, and following game control inputs.
Neither are a holodeck. ;) Or the matrix. ;) Or whatever full simulation of all senses technology is out there.

Dutchmasta says:

the ipad2 def has enough power to do that... the og ipad, no way

Andrew says:

Is it really possible to fall in love with an app?
... i think so!

George DW says:

This isn't quite the same as the 3DS and other 3D displays, because with those your eyes each get a slightly different image so you see it as 3D without moving the screen or your head. Still cool though.

Ryan S says:

Cool parallax effect but not actually 3D. This article suggests this is a new form of glasses-free 3D, which it is not. For it to be 3D, that is to say stereoscopic, each eye would require a slightly different image. However, in this case, each eye is presented the same image all the time but the trick is in the parallax illusion created by moving the device around.
I think suggesting this as a new 3D display alternative is pretty misleading considering most 3D content that is popular today does not require you to move the source around (movies and games). That's not to say that games and other media might not employ this technique to deliver unique experiences but current 3D media would not be viewable as 3D with this technique.

krayzray says:

Breath-takingly effing amazing!! When does this technology debut?! I'm super pumped!!

Porkseed says:

Too bad only one person can view the screen in 3d at a time.
It's impossible for two people to view this correctly the way this 3d works...

Vivian says:

This is really cool!!!

Gregz0r says:

Its faux 3D and not auhentic steroscopic 3D, which makes this a neat party trick, but no more than that.

Ben says:

When will this come out

Nickchosay says:

This would be very cool on the iOS devices I would love to have it and to have the apps working on it kinda like bumptop for pc

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