Nintendo has filed a rather interesting patent that depicts an eye tracking device which enables 3D viewing on a conventional 2D display. The patent was published today via the USPTO. The patent works by having the user wear special glasses or something similar. The user is then tracked by a camera placed above the television. Once the person moves his or her head then the user will view the image displayed on the television screen in 3D. Nothing may come of this, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Thanks, Kallum S


  1. I think they are probably going to sell it as an accessory for the Wii U. If it looks cool I will buy it. 3d Smash and MK8. I hope it works well. Imagine splatoon in 3D!


  2. Wow I actually predicted this! I was thinking they might use some kind of tracking tech to emulate 3D on a non-3D display for their next console. Much like Johnny Lee did with the Wii Remotes.


    • this is quite different from the usual 3D effect though

      the 3D effect we know emulates binocular vision.. this doesn’t.. it emulates parallax


  3. wow man, Nintendo thinks of everything!

    Despite what most people say, I’m a pretty big fan of 3D as long as it’s done well. Sometimes games (and mostly movies) force 3D which tends to annoy my eyes, but then I’ll play a game like Mario 3D Land and refuse to turn the 3D off.


  4. this has been around for since the wii first launched practically. wonder why they are just getting around to patenting now?!


    • I’m with you on this one, Commander… but I see something that Nintendo could lead to in the future. Case in point– Splatoon in 3D.


  5. And also…. have any of you guys felt a sort of 3D display when playing SSBB or even Melee? It’s when you mess with the menu screens by moving it around with the C-stick…


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  7. needing glasses to see 3D? … that’s crap.

    the XboxOne and PS4 could easily do this … i’m pretty certain their devices can recognize eyes.

    wearing glasses makes it easier to track (less processing power) … so, the technology is simpler … but it just goes in the wrong direction.

    what if the devices needs to track more? … whether you’re blinking … or angry … again, XboxOne and PS4’s current technology could do something like this i think … tracking where the glasses are in the 3D plane doesn’t do that whatsoever.


    • the problem with camera recognition without any kind of beacon (for example infra red LEDs) is that it takes some time to process the image and this will lead to delays
      if you have an infrared LED you don’t need a lot of processing time to know where the head is located (it doesn’t track the eyes it tracks the head… eye tracking is much more complex and not necessary for this)

      it is also much more precise because the camera may not be able to get the correct location down to the centimeter without a beacon

      it will never track whether you’re blinking or angry or whatever though.. that would be pointless anyway for parallax

      and i doubt that kinect could do that ;)
      it just doesn’t have the resolution


  8. just to point out they try doing this with the gamecube, make 2d screen have a 3d image, but the said the technology was too expensive, so now that the price is down they’re going through with it.


  9. This would be cool if we lived in a society with people who don’t mind moving around while playing games. It’s the reason kinect failed and the reason why this would. It would ultimately be seen as gimmicky


    • you don’t have to move around.. but even slight head movements will be registered and subsequently displayed on the screen (you might not even notice these movements as you do them) and make the 3D effect so much more real


  10. You dont have to wear glasses to view the 3d. Its glasses free. Lee just used glasses to put the red lights on so they could be tracked by the sensor. It was easier for him to do that. Did you watch the video? Its actually revolutionary, and no, sony or microsoft could not do that becouse Nintendo just made a patent.


    • “You dont have to wear glasses to view the 3d. Its glasses free. Lee just used glasses to put the red lights on so they could be tracked by the sensor”

      that’s not quite correct

      what the video by lee is showing is the shift in perspective (called parallax) which gives you the impression that the objects are apart from each other and actually occupy a space in the “room” you’re watching… *that* works without glasses

      but in order to have an actual 3D effect you need more than that.. you need stereopsis too i.e. 2 differing images for each eye
      for that you’ll still have to wear 3D glasses

      but even then a third effect is still missing.. which is the focus of your eye’s lense .. normally, if you see 3D in the real world, the lense would focus on objects with different depth, but on a screen there is only one depth level.. so the eye can never be fully fooled by a 2D display.. it just doesn’t work

      but with parallax and binocular vision it’s possible to get fairly close to a real 3D effect


  11. I believe nintendo could find a way for you to view the 3d without having to move around so much. They could probably turn the sensitivity of the screen movement sky high, so that the slightest head movement would trigger the effect. I believe Nintendo may have glasses free 3d for thier games, and without the movement. That would be amazing.


    • the it wouldn’t be realistic anymore Oo

      the whole point is to have the objects on screen shift their perspective according to your heads movement


  12. My guess is that by patenting this, we could play 3DS games in 3D on our TV using some sort of 3DS game adapter for the Wii U, of course the glasses would be for people who choose to play their games in 3D.


    • I think Nintendo might be adding eye-tracking to the already established head tracking in order to get a better 3-D effect.

      Navigation in Amazon’s phone is done by tilting the smart phone, so I think it’s only head tracking.

      If it was eye-tracking, you could move a cursor around with your eyes, and if your gaze reached the bottom of the window, it would automatically scroll down (eye-scrolling video demo at 0:22:

      Amazon does use infrared though, and the eye-tracking companies like Eye Tribe and Tobii do require infrared.


  13. Any 3d tech that requires you to wear glasses is a failure, automatically. Why? Because lots of people already wear glasses! I can’t even go to the movies half the time because I’m not going to put glasses on over my glasses. Ridiculous! Ninty should just focus on awesome games.


  14. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.


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