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Apple iPad 2 Goes 3D : Well, Almost

It took some very clever engineers from the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group to convert the display of the iPad 2 into a glasses-free pseudo 3D version.

The team used the front facing camera of the iPad 2 with some smart software hacking to create what it calls Head-Coupled Perspective or HCP.

The engineers say "It is based on [an] efficient head-tracker that uses the front-facing camera of the device," and that they "use an off-axis projection in order to adapt the perspective of the 3D scene according to the head position of the user. Such spatially-aware mobile display [is able] to improve the possibilities of interaction."

The trick happens in real time as the user moves and the content on the screen moves with him as well. As it stands, it is merely a proof of concept but it may well evolve into a fully fledged pseudo 3D solution.

As it requires a front facing camera, the trick is also compatible with the iPhone 4 as well as the iPod Touch 4G. It could also, in theory, be added to the Microsoft Kinect motion controlled peripheral which also comes with cameras.

Interestingly, the new onboard super charged graphics processing unit on the iPad 2 (which should come to the iPhone 5 and the iPod Touch 5G) may in theory allow for some very impressive tricks to be performed.