We've heard that glasses-free 3-D movie screens and televisions are on the way (in 8-10 years, according to James Cameron). Here is something a little different -- possibly even better, possibly even more like something out of a sci-fi movie: glasses-free holographic computers from Apple. Okay, the computers will actually only produce "pseudo-holographic" images, but according to the company's newly granted patent for the technology (as quoted by the Telegraph), those images will be "virtually indistinguishable from viewing a true hologram."

Just imagine, your emails could resemble Princess Leia's desperate message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in 'Star Wars.' Your video games could be like those seen in the same film. Your Google Maps could look like the ones of Pandora seen in 'Avatar.' Most importanly, perhaps, is that we will now be able to watch those two movies in a form of 3-D that makes the characters seem as if they're really in your living room. Not just extending from the screen. You'll apparently be able to walk around Chewbacca, or at least think you are doing so (now all we need is the return of Smell-O-Vision).

Obviously the technology will have benefits to non-movie-related areas, such as medical and engineering fields. And of course, as with any development in visual entertainment over the past forty years, the pornography industry could be a very big innovator and proponent of the technology. For now, though, because Apple isn't commenting on the patent, we have no clue what they're up to with it. You can probably go ahead and get excited for the next generation of iPad, though.

[via io9]