When Apple added a front-facing camera to the new iPad, the company gave developers access to it with the hope that they would use it in new and innovative photo apps, or possibly even games.
But Apple probably didn’t see this one coming: a team of researchers at the Grenoble Informatics Laboratory in Grenoble, France, have developed a 3-D style interface for the iPad 2 that makes use of the built-in camera. You can see it in the video above.
The researchers use the camera to track the user’s gaze and then change the image on the tablet’s display to shift its perspective. They call this a “spatially-aware mobile display.”
The technique could be applied to a new type of interactive game, like a first-person shooter where bullets fly in the direction of the player. Developers could also make reading apps, like a digital book or magazine, that is aware of how the iPad is being held, and then change the direction of the typography.
Johnny Lee, who is now working at Google, developed a similar interface in 2007 by hacking a Nintendo Wii to track where a person is standing in relation to a television and then shift the image perspective accordingly.
Copyright 2011 by The New York Times