Rumored iPad 3 to get glasses-free 3D?

Hollywood, Chinese sources reportedly say it's a "cert" that you'll soon be able to enjoy CNET on an iPad 3 in glasses-free 3D. We, however, are a bit skeptical.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
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Eric Mack
2 min read

Could CNET soon jump off your iPad screen? CC wicker_man/Flickr

If this serving of Apple iPad rumors seems a little crunchy, it's probably because it's in 3D. At least, the next iPad could be--if the rumors are true and you'll soon be able to enjoy CNET on an iPad 3 in glasses-free 3D. (Safety note: to avoid retinal damage, please avoid looking at author's headshot with any 3D or other stereoscopic technology.)

Past rumors have had an iPad 3 showing up this fall, with more recent speculation pointing to 2012. The screen of the next-generation iPad is one of many features of interest, with the iPad 2 failing to bring Apple's so-called Retina display along for the ride. For now, I'm taking this latest iPad hubbub with a healthy dose of skepticism, but it can't be completely discounted. The source is an anonymous "Hollywood insider" speaking to RCR Wireless, and well, the quote is a little odd. Here's an excerpt from the story:

"The fact that the iPad 3 is 3D is a dead cert," one Hollywood insider close to the big movie studios told RCR, adding that the screen would be the real magic. She went on to say that the big film studios were currently running around like "blue-arsed flies" trying to gear up to release plenty of 3D content in time for Apple's next launch.

I'm left wondering if this anonymous source might actually be Charlie Sheen, but RCR editor Sylvie Barak goes on to claim that the rumor is bolstered by leaks from the FoxConn factory in China, where many Apple products are manufactured. Only problem is that Barak's own story seems to be the sole source of that rumor, too. She writes:

Known to be leakier than a holy bucket, Foxconn--or Hon Hai manufacturing as it's known in Taiwan--has already spilled the 3D iPad beans to several of our close industry sources.

One thing we do know with actual certainty is that Apple has recently been granted a patent for a "three-dimensional display system," and there were those rumors a few months ago about glasses-free 3D coming to the iPod Touch.

3D has already begun making its way into a handful of consumer gadgets, notably Nintendo's 3DS, which offers glasses-free 3D viewing. With RIM's recent underwhelming, glasses-required 3D demonstration for the BlackBerry PlayBook, it's clear everyone has a touch of the 3D bug, but something just smells fishy with this particular rumor... or maybe I'm just worried about getting caught running around like a blue-arsed fly.

Related links:
Rumored iPad 3 really iPad Mini?
MIT glasses-free 3D works from many perspectives