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Transform Your iPad's 2D Images into 3D

We might still have to wait a while for Apple to develop 3D displays for a future iPad. However, it seems that researchers from Ochanomizu Women's University in Japan have come up with an intriguing way to "encourage" the iPad display to show 3D images, Gizmag (opens in new tab) reports.

The method is called anamorphosis and consists in projecting a 3D object from a 2D image with the aid of cylindrical mirrors. The traditional approach relies on a fixed mirror while the observer moves around to find the perfect angle that reveals the hidden 3D image.

The most famous example of anamorphosis is a portrait painted in 1533 by Hans Holbein, The Ambassadors, which features in the foreground a peculiar shape that cannot be deciphered without the aid of a cylindrical mirror.

The OWU brought this old method into the present and created the 3D effect for the iPad. Using the multitouch sensitivity of the screen, the user can spin a cylindrical mirror with two inner components to change the view of the previously created odd shape until the desired image appears.

The only difficulty is, that in order to create the distorted image using polar coordinates and appropriate software, 70 images of the subject must be loaded.

See an image gallery of the 3D effects on the iPad here (opens in new tab).

Radu is the founder of, and has worked as a freelance writer for ITProPortal, as well as having been blogging around since 2004. He is interested in anything Apple as well as gaming and mobile applications.