Apple Maps may one day offer more 3D-ish images of maps, a user’s destination, and more. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210349609) for “virtual parallax to create three-dimensional appearance.

About the patent filing

Obviously, users of computing devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches invoke navigation applications to present maps that show representations of streets, buildings, landmarks, and other points of interest. Users can use navigation apps such as Maps to determine routes to various destinations and receive instructions for navigating selected routes. 

In the patent Apple points out that sometimes a user requires more context for navigation. In some navigation apps, the user can provide input to cause the computing device to present a photograph of a destination, point of interest (POI), or other location on the map. However, simple two-dimensional images may not provide enough context to be useful to the user for navigation. Apple thinks 3D images is the solution.

Summary of the patent application

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing; “In some implementations, a computing device can simulate a virtual parallax to create three dimensional effects. For example, the computing device can obtain an image captured at a particular location. The captured two-dimensional image can be applied as texture to a three-dimensional model of the capture location. 

“To give the two-dimensional image a three-dimensional look and feel, the computing device can simulate moving the camera used to capture the two-dimensional image to different locations around the image capture location to generate different perspectives of the textured three-dimensional model as if captured by multiple different cameras. Thus, a virtual parallax can be introduced into the generated imagery for the capture location. When presented to the user on a display of the computing device, the generated imagery may have a three-dimensional look and feel even though generated from a single two-dimensional image.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today