Down the road, you may see smartphone holograms

Jun 04, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
Credit: Sam Hodgson for The Wall Street Journal

In predicting some of the next big things in smartphones of the future, Hongkiat.com did not ignore the potential of holographic projections. The smartphone holograph will be one path of interest, with projections from the smartphone. "If you want to talk about the potential of holographic projections in smartphones," said the site list of predictions, "it's great." Some potential uses presented were resizing a photo just by using your hand to pull or compress the holographic photos appearing in front of you or moving objects just by grabbing them from one place to another, Question is, how close are we to portable, glasses-free, smartphone holograms? The Wall Street Journal ran a Monday article about a Carlsbad, California company called Ostendo Technologies, which indicates we may not be far off.

Ostendo Technologies is a display technology company. They develop Solid State Lighting -based display technologies and products. The team's specialty areas include electronics and photonics. A company saying is "where electrons meet photons." The Wall Street Journal on Monday, taking a closer look at the company, said, "imagine stepping into an empty room and then suddenly seeing life-size, 3-D images of people and furniture. Or looking down at a smartwatch and seeing virtual objects float and bounce above the wrist."

Evelyn Rusli wrote that "Ostendo Technologies Inc. has spent the past nine years quietly working on miniature projectors designed to emit crisp videos and glasses-free 3-D images for smartphones and giant screens." The article said Ostendo's projectors, roughly the size of Tic Tacs, are powered by a computer chip that controls the color, brightness and angle of each beam of light across one million pixels. One chipset, it said, small enough to fit into a , is capable of projecting video on a surface with a 48-inch diagonal.

The article showed a company chip that can produce a hologram. That is where things may start to get quite interesting, but first things first, 2-D videos. According to Rusli, Ostendo said it has several opportunities with handset manufacturers. The first iteration of the chip, to ship next year, will project 2-D videos. The next version, however, is to feature holographic capability, according to Ostendo's chief executive and founder, Hussein S. El-Ghoroury, according to the article.

In a recent test reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Ostendo showed a working prototype. This was a set of six chips laid together that beamed a 3-D image of green dice spinning in the air. Image and motion appeared consistent, irrespective of the viewer's position.

Explore further: Amazon reportedly plans to release a smartphone this year

More information: ostendo.com/

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User comments : 2

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EyeNStein
not rated yet Jun 04, 2014
'Imagine' where BS meets Hype.
Six chips for green dice: Visible in the air??? Presumably only on axis with display chip behind but how???
shavera
4 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2014
How answers your other questions: Holography. Not stereography (projecting separate left and right images for each eye). Holography is where optics can recreate the full 3D information of a scene.

The problem is that, unlike photography -> movies where you just take a bunch of pictures and flash them in quick succession, it's harder to generate holograms "on the fly" as it were. What it seems this company is doing is using these small chips (perhaps with MEMS mirrors or something on them?) to direct and redirect light to generate the correct pattern of light to produce a hologram. Essentially, to produce a viewable from any angle fully 3D object that you can *also* have different focal lengths on as well. (ie, have you watched a glasses 3D movie and noticed that your eyes are forced to focus on whatever the camera is focusing on, not being able to choose to focus on background? I suspect this is a main problem people have still with stereography). Holography would change all that.

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