Apple joins the likes of IBM and Sony in wanting to bring about some sweet holographic display technology. While Apple's patent admits that it isn't a "true hologram" the company is after, it does go so far as to call the proposal "exceptional." Not your usual humble, dry patent here!
Okay, okay, we guess if you're talking about something as cool as a hologram then you can psych yourself up a bit.
Here's how Apple sees it going down:
An exceptional aspect of the invention is that it can produce viewing experiences that are virtually indistinguishable from viewing a true hologram. Such a "pseudo-holographic" image is a direct result of the ability to track and respond to observer movements. By tracking movements of the eye locations of the observer, the left and right 3D sub-images are adjusted in response to the tracked eye movements to produce images that mimic a real hologram. The invention can accordingly continuously project a 3D image to the observer that recreates the actual viewing experience that the observer would have when moving in space around and in the vicinity of various virtual objects displayed therein. This is the same experiential viewing effect that is afforded by a hologram.
Will Apple actually realize its pseudo-holographic display, or will this just be another patent filed under Wouldn't It Be Cool? Eye tracking tech is certainly making its way into laptops and television sets, and that's the crux of Apple's proposal. If we don't get holograms, we'll certainly get something else just as neat, we'd wager.