The various leaks and rumors point out there is something definitely cooking at the Apple camp though the problem is, we do not know for sure what exactly it is. However, a recent revelation from the United States Patent and Trademark Office brings to light some interesting facts that can be an indication of what the future tablets from Apple may be like.
For instance, one of the patent documents reveal an augmented reality interface for the iPad. This involves the screen being split into two with the top screen displaying the video being played back while the screen at the bottom would show the ‘computer-generated or augmented version of the live video.’
For this, appropriate software running on the iPad could make use of the tablet’s built-in positioning systems like GPS, WiFi, and Cell ID, as well as the iPad’s own integrated motion sensors ‘to transmit information about the live feed to a network service, which could then spit back 3D models of recognized objects in the live feed that the user could navigate in real-time.’
“For example, gyroscopes, magnetometers and other motion sensors can provide angular displacements, angular rates and magnetic readings with respect to a reference coordinate frame, and that data can be used by a real-time onboard rendering engine to generate 3D imagery of downtown San Francisco,” Apple said. “If the user physically moves device, resulting in a change of the video camera view, the information layer and computer-generated imagery can be updated accordingly using the sensor data.”
The other patent filing revealed presents an even more interesting concept. Named “Transparent Electronic Device”, the idea is to have a screen with selective transparent areas. The transparent areas can then serve to present information ‘layered over a live view.’ So as to switch between the opaque and transparent states, the screen may use in-plane switching LCD technology.
“For example, display screen may include an in-plane switching LCD screen in which pixels of the screen default to an ‘off’ state that inhibits light transmission through the screen,” said Apple engineer Aleksandar Pance. “This may be accomplished by driving a voltage to zero to the pixels in an ‘off’ state (i.e., the pixels in an opaque region)” while “voltage could then be applied to pixels of the display screen to enable light transmission through such pixels (when desired), allowing a user to view real-world objects through the activated pixels of display screen, thus generating a window in the opaque region.”