Prototype display creates holographic-style images

A prototype 3D display will be unveiled which could enable mobile devices to create holographic-style images that float above the screen. Leia will unveil its prototype at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona between March 1-5. The device works using what it calls a multiview display which consists of a very thin piece of transparent material that is illuminated from the side using standard LEDs.

By using nanopatterning directional pixels can be created on the surface, governing the angle that the light is sent and creating different images through different directions of space. When the user looks at the image, their left and right eyes will see a different image therefore creating the perception of depth.

Later this year the company plans to launch a small display module that can produce full-colour 3D images and videos. The company says that these will be visible from 64 different viewpoints without the need for special glasses. This could lead to mobile devices that are able to create images that float above the device that users can touch or interact with.

Company founder David Fattal, who formerly worked on 3D imaging for HP Labs, imagines this could one day be used for applications like Google Maps in 3D – to see buildings coming out of mobile device – and in games and retail where shoppers can explore a 3D image of a product before they make a purchase. By utilizing 3D/multiview capture, devices may also be able to stream holographic data in real time for medical applications like remote surgery. 

Leia is already offering a software development kit for developers so they can take 3D graphics and animations and have them automatically broken it into the 64 images required to create the holographic-type image.