Apple’s next big thing: Glasses-free 3D holograms

“Look around your office hallway or college campus and you’ll see people holding interactive panes of glass,” Ben Kunz reports for BusinessWeek. “Smartphones and tablets, so revolutionary a few years ago, are quickly becoming commodities. Apple is now locked in a fierce patent battle with Samsung over tablet designs — a sure sign that, whoever is right, touchscreens are converging into gadgets that look like everything else.”
“So as Apple prepares to launch its next iPhone in September, with a slightly bigger screen, here is a prediction—Apple devices will soon project holograms like you’ve never seen,” Kunz writes. “This is not mere speculation, but insight based on Apple’s patents, recent acquisitions, and the business imperative to do something to break free of the tablet clutter.”

Kunz writes, “In November 2010, Apple patented a three-dimensional display system that would ‘mimic a hologram’ without requiring special glasses. The patent narrative is fascinating, noting that one current market gap in screen technology is the ability of a device to project stereoscopic 3D images to multiple viewers at the same time… Apple’s hologram technology will be different—and completely realistic… Finally, in perhaps its most unique trick, the Apple hologram system would detect who is watching, and be able to display different images to different people… This would enable everything from private holograms to personalized advertising.”

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