Apple Patent Shows A 3D Virtual World For Buying Their Goods In

There was a time, before Avatar, when 3D meant crummy virtual gaming. A recent patent granted to Apple shows they are (or were) considering a 3D virtual Apple Store—a more welcoming way to shop for Apple products.

It doesn't sound very "Apple," when they normally favor start minimalism over cheesy big-headed virtual characters, but as you can see from the diagram above, they are obviously considering the idea of a store you can walk through and browse the products in, with the outside elements portrayed by falling rain/sunshine etc.

The patent was first filed in 2006 by Apple, so I'm hoping they just got swept up in the Second Life craze and have forgotten all about some naff virtual world where you can exchange 17 green and red apples for the latest Miley Cyrus song. [Patently Apple]