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Tuesday April 12, 2011 12:46 pm

Hack uses front-facing camera adds 3D display to iPad 2

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Handhelds, Mods / Hacks

No, it's not an iPad 3 rumor. Rather, some innovative people from the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group have rigged the 2D display of the Apple iPad 2 for a glasses-free 3D perspective.

Using a feed from the front-facing camera coupled with some clever software hacks, the group was able to create what it calls the Head-Coupled Perspective (HCP).

"It is based on [an] efficient head-tracker that uses the front-facing camera of the device," said a description on the group's Web site. "We use an off-axis projection in order to adapt the perspective of the 3D scene according to the head's position of the user. Such spatially-aware mobile display [is able] to improve the possibilities of interaction."

The two-dimensional screen moves when the user moves, maintaining the illusion of 3D perspective. For now, it's just a demo, but it's possible HCP could be included in an app at a later date. It doesn't just work on the iPad 2, either. HCP is also compatible with the iPhone 4. In fact, all the trick requires is a front-facing camera, so it could be used on other Apple devices in the future.

Apple unveiled its second-generation iPad on March 11 in the U.S. On March 25, the device was launched in 25 additional countries. It's been popular worldwide; analysts estimated that roughly 500,000 units flew off store shelves in its first weekend, temporarily driving wait times up to five weeks. The iPad 2 also reportedly sold out overseas within 24 hours.

Digitimes estimates Apple sold around 2.6 million iPad 2s in March. Apple hasn't divulged any official numbers yet, but the company is expected to report sales data in its quarterly earnings call on April 20.

This article, written by Leslie Horn, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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