Apple Employee Confirms Work on 3D iOS User Interface
Posted on: 07/04/2012 10:05 PM

Apple is working on a new graphical user interface feature that uses input from a mobile device's ambient light sensor to create virtual shadows on app icons, thus creating the illusion of a 3D workspace.

As we know, this isn't Apple's first endeavor into 3D. The computer giant has filed numerous patents related to 3D and holograms in the last few years, plus is looking to hire a 3D display engineer. Apple has also received 5 patents in just this last year regarding ambient light sensors. Up until now, its been tough to make sense of why the heck ambient light would be so important, but an unnamed Apple employee has said upcoming iOS's could use the light sensors to bring a higher level of realism and interactivity to the company's mobile operating system by making icons seem 3D.

According to the employee, the UI component will create drop shadows under certain graphics in accordance with light detected by the phone's ambient light sensor. Current iDevices are unlikely candidates for the technology as the sensor being used only detects incidental light, not directional, but with iOS6 and the iPhone 5 just around the corner, this new technology could be implemented sooner than we think. The combination of a gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor would make for an amazingly accurate system, but that would take a lot of processing (and battery) power. We will keep our eyes out for the next leap in Apple technology and keep you updated!

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