As shown by the newly granted patent 9,842,429 Apple wants your iPhone and iPad to be able to generate a 3D model based on recordings made with the device.
Per the patent your iOS gadget can can load and provide an initial display of a 3D model. As you move the iPhone, motion sensing components can detect the device movement and adjust the displayed portion of the 3D model to reflect the movement of the smartphone
By walking with the device in the user’s real environment, a user can virtually navigate a representation of a 3D environment. You could record an object or environment using your iPhone, and tag the recorded images or video with movement information describing the movement of the device during the recording.
The recorded information can then be processed with the movement information to generate a 3D model of the recorded environment or object. According to the patent, such models could enable, among other things, 3D representations of photos or street views of cities.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.