Will Apple Introduce a Product with a 3D Camera in the Near Future?

3D technology has not captured the attention of the average consumer or even the power-user techie yet. But, that day is coming soon in my opinion. It started with 3D TVs (which are very expensive – typical of first generation products) and the second generation Fujifilm W3 3D camera last year. In 2011, we’ve seen announcements for several Android based smartphones and tablets that feature 3D cameras and, in some cases, glass-free lenticular 3D viewing displays. The release of Nintendo’s 3DS 3D mobile gaming console this past weekend will probably get a lot more people thinking about and actually working with 3D viewing and photo creation. However, the biggest push for 3D might come if Apple jumps into the market.

Apple files a lot of patent applications. And, not all of them (or even most of them) see the light of day in an actual shipping product. Howver, this AppleInsider report about a 3D patent application at the very least indicates serious interest on Apple’s part.

Apple exploring multi-camera iPhone systems for 3D picture taking

I doubt if we will see this in fifth generation iPhone expected to be announced sometime this year. However, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see some kind of 3D technology introduced by Apple either this year or in early 2012.