Apple eyes "glasses-free" 3D display

Apple is apparently eyeing the design of a new type of multi-layer display that would allow users to view three-dimensional images without glasses.

According to a patent application obtained by AppleInsider, the advanced display would feature individual layers driven by separate graphics processors.

Indeed, current 3D devices often create a perception of depth via computer graphics which are used to enhance a two-dimensional image.

But Cupertino believes such techniques are imperfect, because they only render a limited amount of depth and often require users to wear awkward glasses to properly view the image.

Apple’s proposed (theoretical) solution?

A multilayer display system driven by a number of transparent organic light-emitting diode screens, or OLED. As noted above, each of the display’s screens could be powered by its own separate graphics processing unit.

“The use of OLED panels may provide an advantage over traditional display devices, since OLED panels do not require a backlight to function, and may therefore be much thinner and lighter than backlit display panels,” the application reads. 

“OLED panels are further capable of displaying deep black levels and can naturally achieve a high contrast ratio.”

Meanwhile, another patent application recently filed by Apple indicates the company may also be interested in designing a motion-controlled portable tablets with dual e-ink displays.

The device would be used specifically for reading and interacting with digital content. As such, it would likely boast motion-sensing capabilities to measure when a user flipped the device, and what direction it was moved in, allowing for easy e-book page turns and facilitating the reading of content in two different directions.

However, instead of offering two distinct pages in book-like form like Microsoft’s “Courier,” a single display would be presented to the user at a time. Preliminary patent diagrams show a tablet-style device with one e-ink display on each side.