The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) reports on a prototype app by the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research group that uses the iPad 2’s front facing camera to track head movements and create a compeling 3D-like visual effect without any special display hardware.
iPad 2 gets glasses-free 3D display using front-facing camera for head tracking
Video courtesy of DocteurCube
However, you don’t need an iPad 2 or the prototype to get an idea of how this visual parallax effect works. The $1.99 HoloToy app uses an accelerometer to detect a device’s movement and then adjusts the graphics to simulate a 3D-like view. The result is quite compelling and very entertaining. You can see an early test in the video below by HoloToy’s developer using the Kinect to provide head tracking for a PC-based app similar to the iPad based one described by TUAW.
Video courtesy of kode80apps