Turns out you don’t need a special display to get 3-D images and effects on a tablet like Apple’s iPad 2.
Thanks to the new iPad’s front-facing camera, researchers at France’s Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group have been able to deliver real-time glasses-free 3-D using some clever head-tracking software.

The system is named “Head-Coupled Perspective” and works by following your head movements to provide a 3-D image that extends into the screen rather than towards your face, somewhat like looking through a window. It could also be applied to other Apple devices that sport a front-facing camera, like the iPhone 4.

In the past, there have been applications that use the iPad as a tool for 3-D modeling, as well as iPhone apps and gaming accessories that provide 3-D effects, with varying degrees of success. Johnny Chung Lee also created a similar, albeit more hardware intensive head-tracking system that used a Wiimote and IR-outfitted safety glasses.

Head-Coupled Perspective exists only as a tech demo for now, but may get turned into a full-fledged iOS app at some point.



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