Researchers from Japan recently developed a method for holographic smartphone displays to efficiently display 3D objects in high resolution.

In recent years, virtual reality and augmented reality have become increasingly relevant again. The technology does not seem to be suitable for everyday use for many people. Nevertheless, manufacturers are venturing into this area by developing new devices. Researchers at the University of Tokyo recently developed a new method that could give virtual realities a new boost.

The method makes it possible to create three-dimensional images using conventional smartphones. The development has potential and could significantly change the way people interact with their devices. But how does the approach proposed by the Japanese researchers work?

Holographic smartphone displays could replace expensive laser systems

The method uses the incoherent light emission from smartphone displays to create holographic images. These images are intended to enable realistic three-dimensional representations. The approach has the advantage that complex and expensive laser light sources are no longer necessary.

Because these have always been necessary for traditional holographic systems. The heart of the method is a new computer algorithm process. It models the light propagation of screens and generates holographic images efficiently and cost-effectively.

This technology could play a particularly important role in the development of AR and VR headsets and improve the performance and user-friendliness of such devices. The holographic displays should be able to display realistic 3D models while reducing costs and complexity.

Similar research work already exists, but the researchers from Tokyo show that a standard smartphone could be enough for this.

Holograms shown so far are still very small

To demonstrate the new method, the researchers created a two-layer optical reproduction system of a full-color 3D image. They achieved this by displaying a holographic layer on the screen of an iPhone 14 Pro and a second layer on a spatial light modulator.

The resulting image was only a few millimeters in size, but the researchers want to further develop the technology to allow larger 3D images.

The team would also like to enable additional shifts in the future. These are intended to improve spatial resolution and allow objects to appear at different depths or distances from the viewer. Future smartphones could also serve as a holographic projector.

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