Once upon a time, gadgets like electric cars, smart glasses, and touch screens were futuristic toys that could only be imagined in science fiction movies. Today, they’re everywhere. But can you imagine a world where your smartphone instantly projects 3D holograms at the touch of a button? Well, it could happen much sooner than you think. In fact, a company called Ostendo could lead the way in this revolutionary new technology. Using 5,000ppi projectors that are the size of a small piece of candy, your phone could display 3D imagery almost instantaneously. These projectors are so powerful, they can control the brightness, angle, and color of individual beams of light across a million pixels. What's more, this new technology could be available by the end of 2015. Sounds good, right?
And it gets even more impressive: only a single chip will need to be used to deliver the image (with additional chips being added for more detailed imagery and complex projections). The media has already been given a demo of the new technology, which involved six chips. The result? A striking image of green dice was beamed into the air, and could be viewed from different parts of the room. Although the technology is said to be still in its initial stages, it's an exciting look into what smartphones can really achieve in the future.
Ostendo is planning to ship the first chip in the summer of next year, although this will be limited to 2D video (it will still be able to project images onto surfaces at a size of 48 inches). The founder of the company also stated that the chip capable of delivering high quality 3D images will go into production by the end of 2015. Ostendo has already convinced manufacturers that this technology is the next big thing, but their plans don't stop there. The company is hoping to develop a chip that projects smaller pixels in order to improve the resolution of the holograms. In addition, work will start on chips that can be embedded into televisions, watches, and even tables.
Holographic displays have come a long way since they were first invented. Once the notion of science fiction authors and Hollywood screenwriters, they look like they could soon become an essential household item. In fact, the first holographic display was believed to have been created by researchers at the University of Texas in 2005, and scientists created the very first erasable and re-writable holographic systems in 2008. Another important development came in June 2013, when Michael Bove - a researcher at MIT - claimed that holographic televisions could be in existence in the next decade and would have a similar price tag to the 2D TVs that we enjoy watching today.