Apple was granted a U.S. patent covering a method for producing an interactive three-dimensional holographic image.
As awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s U.S Patent No. 8,847,919 for “Interactive holographic display device” describes a new type of display screen that produces holographic images. This patent details a method that iPhones, iPads and Macs can “provide a three-dimensional viewing and interacting experience, without the requirement of a reflective medium or wearing 3D glasses, according to disclosed embodiments. Accordingly, a truly unobtrusive interactive three-dimensional holographic display can be provided. ”
many types of interactive devices are available for performing operations in a computing system. Interactive display screens (e.g., touch screens, in particular) are becoming increasingly popular because of their ease and versatility of operation as well as their declining price. Touch screens generally allow a user to perform various functions by touching (e.g., physical contact or near-field proximity) the touch sensor panel using a finger, stylus or other interactive object at a location dictated by a user interface (UI) being displayed by the display device. Typical touch screens, however, provide a two-dimensional display on a substantially flat surface. Typical interactive devices are incapable of providing an interactive three-dimensional holographic display device.
Presently disclosed embodiments are directed to solving issues relating to one or more of the problems presented in the prior art, as well as providing additional features that will become readily apparent by reference to the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
This relates to a display apparatus configured to produce an interactive three-dimensional holographic image. A coherent light source can produce one or more beams, based on obtained image data of an object to display. A lens assembly can be configured to direct the one or more beams, by dynamically changing a deflection angle, to form a holographic image of the object based on a focal length of the lens and a location of an observer. Further, one or more optical sensors can be configured to obtain information regarding whether an interactive device interrupts the one or more beams, in order to determine a location of the interactive device (e.g., a user’s finger) with respect to the holographic image, based on the obtained information from the one or more optical sensors.
According to an embodiment, the lens assembly can include a first lens receiving and collimating a plurality of beams, and a second lens with a surface function capable of beam steering the one or more beams. The second lens can include a micro-lens assembly, such that at least one micro-lens is configured to generate a plurality of beams associated with a plurality of desired viewing angles.
Another embodiment is directed to method for producing an interactive three-dimensional holographic image. The method can include generating one or more beams, based on obtained image data of an object to display, and directing the one or more beams to form a holographic image of the object. Information regarding whether an interactive device (e.g., a stylus or a user’s finger) interrupts the one or more beams can be obtained, and a location of the interactive device can be determined with respect to the holographic image, based on the obtained information.
Apple had already similar patents such as “Three-dimensional display system” and “Interactive three-dimensional display system”. This new patent was first filed for on February 2, 2011, and credits Krah; Christoph Hors as its inventor.
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