In a patent application uncovered by MacRumors, Apple discusses its idea for a display that would allow users to view on-screen 3D objects from different perspectives simply by moving their body.
This new system would detect a user’s location in relation to the screen using a video camera, infrared beams or electromagnetic fields. As the user moves around the room the on-screen 3D object would change depending on where and how they moved.
The system could be also used to control the view of any on-screen objects, as such this wouldn’t necessarily just be for gaming and other 3D-intensive applications – it could be used for anything.
This sounds to us to be similar like Microsoft’s Project Natal control system for Xbox 360. As with Natal, Apple’s system has the drawback that it would require a user to be a lot more active than they normally would be in order to control their computer. While this is fine for gaming (it’s never hurt the Wii), we can’t see office workers leaping the room to file a tax return. For certain applications though, this could be a perfect way of making the user feel like part of the action.
As with all patent applications, this is simply Apple protect ideas it has come up with. While it’s unlikely something that will be introduced to a new product any time soon, it’s certainly something to look out for in the future.