back to article Apple seeks patent on reality

Apple has filed a US patent for an immersive 3D display technology that allows you to vary your perspective on objects simply by moving your head. It's a difficult concept to put into words when attempting to describe its use on a computer display, but immersive 3D is simply the way we view the world around us all the time. …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Whoopee fuck. Another patent squat.

  2. Greg J Preece

    Have they actually developed anything?

    Or can you patent "future stuff"? It astonishes me that the patent system allows you to think of something futuristic that may be cool, and patent the mere concept of it, without doing any real work whatsoever.

    In which case I'm putting in a patent on the 40W phased plasma rifle.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    already exist

    some Japanese eroge already contain this feature, where the world view in the screen will change as you move your head. It uses the PC camera to track your movement.

    Also there is another eroge where the figure on the screen will live on your desk. It uses the PC camera to take images of the environment and tries to interact with it on your desktop.

    also, haven't the same thing been shown on anime and movies for a long time?

    note, I doesn't matter if you like eroge or not, that fact that the feature of the PC changing the world view on the screen based on your head movement have been around for more then 2 years. The only problem is.... the Japanese seem *not* to have bother to patent their already *existing* system!

    1. Gulfie
      Thumb Up

      Not patented?

      Not a problem depending on your point of view. No they've not protected their work but equally if it's close enough prior art then Apple won't be able to enforce theirs either.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Pretty cool...

    I'm feeling like I'm in the early 90's again, watching tech demonstrations of that kind of stuff.

    Patentable it is not.

  5. RayG

    Patent worthy?

    Flight simulation addicts have been doing this for years. (Try searching "Track IR 6DOF")

    But of course it's not new until Apple do it.

  6. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Jobs Horns


    It sounds just vague enough that they will have an excuse to sue anyone who comes out with any type of 3D display for a PC (That's "Personal Computer", does ANYONE remember what "PC" stands for??)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Gran Turismo

    The developers of GT have been working on this for GT5, using the PS3 eye they are going to detect where you are looking and change the camera view and the picture haze (to imitate your focus) . The feature has not been confirmed as going to make it into the game but has been hinted a number of times and there are demo video's online. The feature has been called head tracking.

    I know this patent was applied for in 2008 but surely if someone has done it before the patent has been granted then it is not patentable?

  8. Richard Porter

    The problem with head tracking

    is what do you do if there's more than one person looking at the screen?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Prior art..?

    I hope Apple have got Jonny Lee on board with this, otherwise their patent would largely be a rip-off of his work!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Triple Trouble

    So for those that haven't been keeping up with Apple and how things work:

    a) its been done before

    b) its totally obvious

    c) its purely about software.

    so its invalid as a patent three times over?

    None of which will prevent the US patent office attempting to grant the patent and put back the evolution of UIs, prevent innovation and hand Apple a wodge of cash.

  11. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    widely used in simulation software already

    e.g. , . There are two innovative points about Apple's patent which I can see : 1. application to other types of software which do define "natural" spacial relationships between objects (as games do) and 2. an attempt to track head position without special hardware (e.g. hat wore by the user)

    All in all, interesting but not revolutionary by any means

  12. lucmars

    Immersive 3d through a 2d screen ?

    It's immersive or not, and in this case that's not. I don't believe that a 3d desktop would be useful, head-tracking could be useful even in 2d but not for a workstation. Our hands are already sollicited with a PC that it would be an additional pain to control our own head too.

  13. Dan 10

    Obvious use

    "As the filing puts it, the system "may detect the user's environment and map the detected environment to the displayed objects." Doing so, the system could, for example, display a reflective object with the user's environment reflected upon it."

    So, you won't just be watching those 'adult titles', you'll be 'in' them, watching yourself on the screen with the leggy blonde and the dwarf...

  14. The BigYin

    Hang on

    There's a YouTube with of a guy doing this with a Wiimote (maybe that's the one ElReg linked to?)

    Anyway, isn't that prior art?

    Isn't any other method of tracking the head simple evolution of the same idea? Cameras have had face recognition for a while.

    Are Apple going to be allowed to get away with 2+2=iOwnYerFeckinArse?

    And what happens if two people look at the screen? PC has an epileptic fit?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    What about VR headsets?

    What is the difference between this and VR headsets? After all, the screens are static, track your head movements and display accordingly.

    I am really of the opinion that teh US patent system is shafted beyond any belief and that the US government is incompitent by not dealing with the patent mess.

  16. Simon Dummett

    Two words...

    "Holo", and "Deck".

  17. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    I just wanted to say...

    Paris, another head tracking expert

  18. David Webb
    Jobs Horns

    Range Rover

    Latest Range Rover does that sort of thing too, it alters the image on the LCD display depending upon where you are looking at it from. If you look at it from the drivers side, its GPS, from the passenger side, its a DVD.

    There is lots of prior art for this already, another epic fail by Apple who's only claim to fame is saying MS steals their ideas whilst constantly stealing others ideas and patenting them.

    1. Paul Westerman
      Jobs Horns

      Not really

      That's just a lenticular screen displaying two images at once. It doesn't track your head movement and ajust the display accordingly. But yes, this has been around for years, Apple have been watching that YouTube vid.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Patent Landfill Item #95472562344

    Yet another land grab in patent form. What say we give patent lawyers, Apple/Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent/Microsoft/IBM executives their own planet - preferably one of those "hot Jupiters" so they don't get too comfortable - where they can sue each other into ignorance well away from actual, productive human endeavour.

  20. Graham Marsden

    What Apple (and the US Patent Office) need...

    ... is to get a *grip* on reality!

  21. Nexox Enigma

    Really? I have to move my head?

    Is it just me, or does this seem like it'd make computing a lot more active than I really need. Plus it'd be awfully hard when I've got a powerful slouch on, as I'd be looking at the underside of all my windows...

    Can't wait for Apple to get sued for some neck injury.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I didn't realise so many patent lawyers read El Reg...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its ...

    Its not ucommon for technicians to be doing work on a system, while looking at someone else.

    So if it does head tracking, then the screen will be all screwy? Will you still be able to touch type, if your not lookin at the screen?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    (don't image google this at work)

    Paris because.....

  25. Haku


    Are Apple actually innovative anymore/ever?

    From my (somewhat limited) point of view it appears Apple only have the knack of just re-wrapping existing ideas/technology in shiny silver/white packages and selling it to the sheeple of the world for magnitutes more than equivilant products just because it has an Apple logo stamped on it.

  26. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Jobs Horns

    Fuck Apple

    And the Patents Office.

    Sons of bitches every last one.

  27. Nanki Poo

    May I be the first to say . . .

    " . . . the PATENTING . . . of REALITY . . . itS-E-LF!!" </deranged dalek>

  28. Steve Roper

    A similar display technology

    was described in Atomic MPC magazine back in 2004 when they did a feature on 3D display technologies. They described each kind of technology in detail, then shot it to pieces by pointing out the ways it would fail.

    For head-tracking 3D technology, they pointed out that the screen would display correctly for only one person at a time - the person whose head was being tracked by the system. Too bad if you have a client seated next to you when you're showing them your new whiz-bang interface that will make their application the best thing since sliced bread.

    All of the 3D display technologies mooted so far all have at least one fatal flaw. You have to wear some cumbersome glasses/headgear; or the depth only works for one person at a time; or the viewer has to be at an exact distance from the display surface; or the screen needs to be at a ridiculously high resolution. It will be a long time before we get real 3D displays, and Apple certainly aren't at the forefront of it, instead simply continuing their tradition of ripping off other people's ideas and exploiting the failed US patent system to steal them.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019