Huawei has filed for and received a new patent that describes a brand new method for achieving 3D images on a standard smartphone screen. That goal is absolutely not anything new, of course, but the novel method by which it is accomplished may be among the most interesting ideas yet in pursuit of it. That's because it utilizes hardware, instead of screen technologies, to enable software to recreate 3D images based on where the user is looking. Specifically, it uses what the patent in question calls an "auxiliary" camera and software to determine where the user's eyes are directed and other positional metrics. The on-screen graphics can then be altered in real-time to match with expectations about how the view of the on-screen "object" would change.
The purpose of that real-time adjustment based on input from dedicated hardware seems to be to present users with a more realistic representation of, and interaction with, whatever is on display. There are several ways that the camera is described as finding the position of the viewer. It can use the central point between the user's eyes, the focus of a single eye, or a combination of metrics about the position of the smartphone – utilizing the more commonly used sensors already in modern smartphones. It also wouldn't be entirely surprising for a more advanced piece of software to find ways to use all three of those methods.
Although the patent describes this technology as being applicable to a "user terminal," that term actually covers a range of consumer electronics. Huawei actually manufactures nearly everything covered under that umbrella – including mobile devices, computers, televisions, and wearables. So while it's possible to get a glimpse at the premise underlying the patent's contents and how it would work, there's really no way to determine what exactly the company might use it for. Moreover, with the possible exception of televisions, there's really not much made by Huawei that it couldn't be used for. With that said, it's also important to bear in mind that there's no guarantee the patent will see use, either. Since the patent itself was only just published on April 5, it may just be best to take the news with a grain of salt pending further information.