the 3D visualization app for iPhone and iPad uses head-tracking to generate its effect

glasses-free 3D visualization is possible on the iPhone and iPad with a to-be-released application designed by french engineers jeremie francone and laurence nigay of the laboratory of informatics of grenoble. in the technology, the position of the user’s head is tracked with the device’s front-facing camera, creating a convincing 3D effect that alters with the viewer’s change in perspective. requiring no special glasses, the visualization varies from the kind of effect used in many 3D technologies because it tricks the brain into believing that there is depth behind the screen, rather than that images are protruding from the glass.

demo of the application for iPhone

demo of the application for iPad

while certainly the application offers expanded opportunities for gaming and visualizations, it can also provide expanded screen space for the more efficient organization of and facilitated access to widgets and applications.

the team cites the work of american engineer johnny lee, who used similar techniques to generate a 3D effect on wii systems. chris harrison’s ‘facetracker‘ application for laptops also implements head tracking for 3D visualizations.

head tracking 3D visualization app left: rendering of the 3D effect in response to different perspectives; right: concept diagram of the 3D effect relative to user position (inset)

via gizmodo