Holographic Screens For Phones Move A Step Closer

Researchers have developed interactive, slim-paneled holographic screens (displays) that increase the viewing angle for 3D videos by 30 times. The ultra-thin glass prototype could make holographic video displays more easily integrated into mobile devices.

Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object and displays it as three-dimensional, such as Princess Leia’s hologram in Star Wars. A holographic projection, however, allows the viewer to move around and get different perspectives from different positions, unlike a standard 3D image.

The team used holographic screens to display a full-screen, 4K interactive video of a swimming turtle that can be viewed from various angles and interacted with using a keypad. Commercially available holographic video displays have yet to be introduced owing to their limited viewing angles, bulky optics, and high computing power requirements.

To address these issues, the researchers used a steering-backlight unit, which includes a beam deflector and a holographic video processor. The beam deflector, made of liquid crystal sandwiched between two sheets of glass, optically steers the transmitted light like a prism. It uses a ‘diffractive waveguide’ design, which controls the direction of light waves and saves energy.

The steering-backlight unit can increase the viewing angle by 30 times, and its diffractive waveguide architecture allows for a slim display form factor,’ the researchers write in their paper.

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