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Technology: Slim display could enable holographic videos on mobile devices

Nature Communications

November 11, 2020

A thin, interactive holographic display that allows high-resolution 3D videos to be viewed from a wide range of angles is reported in Nature Communications. The technology could make it easier to incorporate holographic video displays into mobile devices in the future.

Holographic displays create a 3D image in space, which can be viewed alongside real objects without causing eye strain. However, compared to flat images, holographic images, and especially videos, are more difficult to produce and require a device with many more pixels. Existing holographic technologies used in thin panels can only produce high-resolution images when viewed from directly in front of the display because they don’t control enough pixels for more angled viewing.

Hong-Seok Lee and colleagues developed a thin display that means the viewing angle for 3D videos can be increased by 30 times. The addition of a special backlight and light-tilting mechanism to existing compact hologram technology makes this possible in a very slim form, which is less than 1 cm thick. Combined with a single-chip, custom processor, the authors successfully display a full-screen, 4K interactive video of a 3D swimming turtle that can be viewed from a wide range of angles.

Technologies that can produce realistic holograms in slim panels like this one could make 3D displays a more realistic option for use in mobile devices and household electronics.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19298-4

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