Holographic turtle

See Samsung’s holographic video screen in action

By Karina Shah

A turtle projected from Samsung’s holographic display

An and Won et al.,

A holographic display developed by researchers at Samsung enables high-resolution 3D videos to be viewed from different angles and can be made thin enough to be integrated into a smartphone.

“The holographic display offers the most realistic visual representation of our reality,” says Hong-Seok Lee of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in South Korea. “We are showing the first working system of slim holographic display.”

Holographic displays manipulate rays of light to create a virtual 3D image in space without the need for special glasses or external equipment.

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The existing holographic technology can only produce high-resolution images when shown directly in front of the display, as the viewing angle is limited.

Samsung’s team has increased the viewing angle for holographic video by 30 times by using a backlight that redirects the image. “The steering lighting unit can direct the hologram to the viewer who is outside the original viewing angle,” says Lee. “There is no eye fatigue and you can enjoy 3D in comfort.”

This is because, as with natural viewing, the two images for the two eyes that are required for a 3D effect come from the same point in the hologram and therefore there is less eye muscle tension and more accurate depth perception. When you watch a movie with 3D glasses, your eyes will look at slightly different places, which can lead to muscle tension.

“The ultimate goal of the holographic representation would be to provide the most realistic representation possible, in which people cannot tell the difference between real and virtually created objects,” says Lee.

The display components are about 1 centimeter thick in total, so further research is needed before they can be used in smartphones. “But it won’t be very long,” says Lee.

This work paves the way for devices such as smartphones, tablets or computer monitors with user-friendly holographic displays, says Deepak Sahoo of Swansea University in the UK. “The system could be further scaled up to make handheld holographic displays and personal holographic digital tools,” he says.

Journal reference: Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-19298-4

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