Apple looking into 3D iOS UI elements based on ambient light
Buzzfeed reports that an unnamed Apple employee said that a future version of Apple's iOS could employ unique graphical user interface features that use input from a mobile device's ambient light sensor to cast shadows on app icons thus creating the illusion of a three-dimensional workspace and bringing more realism to the mobile operating system.
According to the source, the UI component will drop shadows under certain graphical assets in accordance with light detected by the phone's ambient light sensor. While this sounds intriguing, current iDevices are unlikely candidates for the technology as the sensor being used only detects incidental light, not directional. A possible workaround could be a combination of gyroscope, accelerometer and ambient light sensor, though the energy cost spent on crunching the sensors' data may outweigh the benefit of having an interactive UI.
To realize this idea, Apple could use different means, for example, specialized filters and entirely new sensors. Noteworthy to say that at this point there is no concrete evidence the feature is coming anytime soon.
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