• 3D Capabilities for the Apple Tablet?

    Rumors of an Apple tablet have lingered for so long that one must wonder if Apple encountered so many hitches on the path of development that the product's initial rumored launch last year had to be delayed until January of this year. If true, it's an equally fair assumption to wonder if the "iSlate" is so richly packed with cool features and capabilities that a January 2010 launch may actually be ahead of schedule rather than behind. Just this week, for example, we're getting new information about the supposed forthcoming tablet that could reveal 3D components to the device.

    The Baltimore Sun escalated the rumor mill yesterday with a provocative report raising the prospect of the tablet's multi-functional aspects, one of which could be an advanced e-reader that may wholly shake Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's nook out of their respective comfort zones.

    According to news reports, the device -- which might or might not be called iSlate -- could be unveiled as early as this month, and shipped in March. No one has the specs, but reports portray the device as larger than the other e-readers, and more expensive. Then again, the iWhatever will likely do much more than the first generation of e-readers -- think, music and videos. And it will likely have Apple's signature coolness, which consumers seem happy to pay Steve Jobs for.
    Although the expansive community of Apple fans would likely appreciate a cool e-reader offering from Cupertino in the form of the tablet, the possibility of 3D graphics and navigation effectively blow the e-reader functionality out of the water. Given the news of Apple submitting patents for some form of 3D operating system navigation, the speculation about such technology finding a home in the tablet are quite understandable and not just another crazy, unsubstantiated rumor.

    As if that weren't enough to make Apple-ites hyperventilate, Baltimore Sun tech blogger Gus Sentementes notes that the device could have some form of 3-D graphics. That would certainly add some punch to graphic novels! (By coincidence, the Apple speculation comes as ESPN has announced a new 3D network that will broadcast 85 games in its first year.) With 3D televisions coming on the market this year, and the popularity of movies such as "Avatar," it's just a matter of time before e-readers give us similar versions of Elizabeth Bennet.
    Okay, okay... I, too, share your frustration. Hearing so much about what the Apple tablet "might" offer has been totally overexposed and utterly beaten to death in the tech blogosphere. But as we get closer to Apple's big media event and suspected new product announcement, the rumor mill likely hasn't even hit its stride yet as more eyeballs than ever are directed at Apple and what the company has in store for later this month.

    Image via Apple Finder
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