Apple patent hints at 3D iPad of the future

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The iPad 3 may sitting finished in an Apple laboratory somewhere right now, but don’t make that let you think that they’re not already planning crazy new things over in Cupertino.

Take for instance this 2010 patent filing that’s just been uncovered by The Register. It shows a device that can gauge depth and display a 3D UI based on calculating user eye movement.

The patent describes a UI that would adapt in relation to the movements of your eyes, highlighting items where your gaze lingers, and creating a “virtual 3D operating system environment,” where realistic drop shadows would be produced to add depth to what you’re looking at.

As well as picking up on ambient light, the device would also use an accelerometer, GPS and “gyrometer” to reference the positioning of the device to create the 3D effect.

It’s unlikely that this tech will see the light of day anytime soon, and certainly not in the upcoming iPad 3. Those who want a closer look at this futuristic device though can head over to the patent filing found here.

Gerald Lynch