Apple has been accorded a U.S. patent that relates to a technology allowing multiple users to view 3D images on a screen, sans a 3D glass.

The project is titled Three-dimensional display system that ascertains the position of a viewer and determines the left and right eye locations, and then uses the information to navigate the pixels to a particular spot on screen which reflects it back to respective left and right eye locations.  

The technology is based on autostereoscopic displays - a term that defines the technology that renders 3D images without the use of glasses. The technology uses a reflective surface for display.

Apple's patent filing highlights the shortcomings of some of the categories of autostereoscopic displays which it has overcome.

It states that the volumetric display approach which renders images which appear ghosted or transparent. The parallax display requires that a viewer remains in a stationary location thus limiting movement. While the most recent development in the autostereoscopic technology display is the hologram which requires far greater computational ability and bandwidth than is generally required.

The patent availed by Apple incorporates features that allow multiple viewers simultaneous viewing in which each viewer could be presented with a uniquely customized autostereoscopic 3D image that could be entirely different from that being viewed simultaneously by any of the other viewers present, all within the same viewing environment, and all with complete freedom of movement therein.

Also Apple's 3D technology enables viewing and manipulation of virtual 3D objects in 3D space without the need for special viewing goggles or headgear.

The patent was filed in September 2006.

However, questions have been raised as to whether Apple will incorporate this technology into its current portfolio of products or opts for devising a new game changing product.