Despite the iPhone 6 is still hot and fresh in the shops and sometimes hard to get, rumors for the iPhone 7 are already emerging. One of the most interesting, not so plausible, is the report that the company from Cupertino is developing a glass-free 3D display for the next generation of its smartphones. The technology is known as an autostereoscopic 3D and it’s used in some smaller screen devices like the hand-held game console Nintendo 3DS and some TV sets.
According to a report from Taiwan-based Economic Daily News, Apple is looking to employ a glasses-free 3D screen which to integrate in the next iPhone 7. The Taiwanese site cited supply chain sources. Also the tech giant from Cupertino has some patents regards toward a making 3D software and hardware which fuels the rumors.
In 2008 Apple applied for a patent for a “Three Dimensional Display System”, that allows users to see 3D objects from a screen without using glasses. In April this year the company also filled a new patent for a similar concept technology, but which allows the consumers to interact with the three dimensional objects in mid-air. Apple also acquired Israel-based PrimeSense, a 3D-sensing firm, in November 2013.
But there is a big problem with this idea, because of some drawbacks of the autostereoscopic technology. It has very limited field of view and for a long time it could not work in bigger resolutions. In the last year there has been some progress of refining this concept. Phillips (the TV business is now owned by TP Vision) and Toshiba are experimenting with some big TV sets with 4K and even 8K resolutions. Sharp tried to introduce a 3D glass-free smartphone, but it wasn’t a big success. The same thing was with the 2011 model of LG – Optimus 3D (pictured above). All 3D smartphones didn’t perform well on the sales figures.
So there is a chance that Apple could overcome the struggles but if it does – the result will be a very expensive screen which will drive iPhone’s price even further.
Image Credit: LG