Yes, this is quite a thin rumor, but the folks over at Technabob are suggesting that Apple is working on 3D displays for the next-generation iPod touch in order to stick it to Nintendo and Sony in the portable gaming market. While outlandish, if this rumor came true, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to figure one of the next-generation iPhones will also have this 3D display.
The rumor of the glass-free 3D display on the next iPod touch comes from a few patents that Apple has filed for and an unnamed source which says Apple is working on some batches for the next refresh of the iPod touch lineup, which should come in the September time frame. It should be noted that none of the 3D patents it shows are directly associated with mobile products.
The idea itself isn’t outlandish: the iPod touch is quickly becoming a gaming powerhouse and rival Nintendo has taken notice. Calling the iPhone the “enemy,” Nintendo will soon introduce the Nintendo 3DS which can also do 3D gaming without the need for glasses.
The technology for glass-free 3D is also rounding into shape, particularly for the mobile side of things. With large televisions, you have to be in the sweet spots to get this effect but the smaller screen of a mobile device, coupled with the fact that people only view it in a few ways, makes glass-free 3D displays possible. We’ve seen a few phones already hit the market.
I don’t expect Apple to push this out this year though, as the costs and benefits don’t appear worth it yet. As with any savvy tech company, I’m sure Apple is experimenting with glass-free 3D displays but it’s still probably not cost-effective enough to get this to the mainstream. Would you want a 3D iPhone or iPod touch?