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i3D gives you the glasses-free 3D experience on iPad 2

A free app that shows the potential of iOS devices...

Just over a month ago I wrote about how much I wanted a glasses-free 3D experience on the iPad, after watching this video from a research team in Grenoble:

[youtube width=”857″ height=”366″][/youtube]

While I may have been talking about Apple using this technology to bring a ‘faux 3D’ effect to a future version of iOS, the tech demo shown in the video above is actually now available for download from the iTunes Store. It utilises head-tracking technology to follow your face around the room, adjusting the display as you move to give you a 3D style effect. It certainly isn’t stereoscopic 3D, and the effect will not be the same as in cinemas, but considering this is done on an iPad 2 (rather than a theoretical future device with a 3D screen) I’m still quite excited about it. If, in the future, Apple can find a way to make their screens 3D, the combination of the two technologies could revolutionise the way we use not only mobile devices, but computers too.

I found that it worked best when I left the iPad on a desk and stood back from it, as moving the iPad in your hands makes it feel like the accelerometer is doing the work (which it isn’t – there are no accelerometer or gyroscope controls involved in the app). Naturally, it only works for the iPad 2, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G, as they are the only iOS devices with front-facing cameras, but if you have one of these it’s well worth a download. It’s free, too, so give it a try.