Almost five years ago, Ben Kunz writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, predicted that Apple devices would soon project holograms "like you’ve never seen." Sounds a bit out-there, right? But Kunz could have been onto something. The tech giant has applied for a patent (number 20190150731) for an “information system and method for provide information using a holographic element.”
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “An information system and a method for providing information in correlation with light that is incident on an eye includes a holographic element disposed in front of the eye and a device capable of recording optical signals which detects light that is incident on the eye via the holographic element. The device capable of recording optical signals detects light which is diffracted by the holographic element before the light impinges on the eye such that the diffracted light does not enter the eye.”
Of course, 3D televisions and gaming systems weren’t exactly been hot sellers. So why would Apple be interested? There could be three reasons, as Kuntz noted:
"Apple is the second-mover that makes failed first-mover ideas work." It made the mouse, tablets and other technologies major successes after other companies tried and failed?
"Apple’s hologram technology will be different -- and completely realistic." Per the patent, the hologram will remain realistic even if you and your friends move around the room, "and you won’t look like a doofus watching it," notes Kunz.
"The Apple hologram system would detect who is watching, and be able to display different images to different people."
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.