Researchers Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of University Joseph Fourier have released a free iOS app called i3D, which offers pseudo-3D imagery on your iOS device.

The software features HCP (Head-Coupled Perspective), which uses the front camera for real-time tracking of the user’s face, enabling the software to shift the perspective, thus offering the illusion of a 3D image.

The app features five 3D models, including a cube, a series of circular targets and – rather cheekily – a collection of Mii pictures overlaid on a series of bars of different heights.

It’s not the first time that HCP has been attempted on a handheld – DSiWare title Looksley’s Line Up used head-tracking so users could move images to see hidden shapes – though the tracking seems a little more accurate here, perhaps thanks to Apple’s superior camera.

Having tested the app on both an iPod touch and an iPad, we noted that the head-tracking works much better on the larger device, owing to the increased field of view. It’s a reasonably effective illusion of 3D, though it looks a little old hat after 3DS.

Whether the tech will be licensed for other developers to use remains to be seen, though surely its use is limited. Looksley’s Line Up showed one way it could be used, but while it’s an interesting demo to show your friends, it seems unlikely that i3D will bring about a glasses-free revolution on iOS.

If you want to try out i3D for yourself, click on the link below.