i3D has been shown off a few weeks ago to demonstrate the head tracking capabilities on front camera equipped iOS devices. Cool thing is, this proof-of-concept demo is now available for free on the App Store.
Head tracking technology itself has been around for quite some time now. I have first seen it in action in racing simulations, where it allows you to look around in your cockpit so you can see whats happening left and right of your car. Combined with surround sound, this created a very slick and immersive experience.
But don’t mistake head tracking with the kind of 3D that you can experience in the cinema or with Nintendo’s 3DS. What head tracking technology does, is changing the perspective of what you see on-screen, based on the position of your head. However, it wont add any real depth to the picture like the 3DS does. For this to happen, your eyes need to actually see a different picture. This is realized for example with special glasses that filter the image when you watch a movie in the cinema, or with a display that has a built in filter like the 3DS. The latter technology comes with very limited viewing angles in order to make the 3D effect visible.
So while head tracking doesn’t add real depth to the image, it still is an interesting technology that, if used in the right context, can definitely enhance a gaming experience. If you’re still wondering what the heck I’m talking about, go and grab i3D – it’s free and less than 4mb.