World’s first holographic flexible smartphone developed

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Scientists from the Queen's University, Canada claim to have developed the world's first holographic flexible smartphone that lets users interact with 3D videos and images without any headgear or glasses. The device, dubbed HoloFlex, is capable of rendering 3D images with motion parallax and stereoscopy to multiple simultaneous users without head tracking or glasses.

World's first holographic flexible, glasses-free smartphone developed - Watch! https://t.co/aE1ZYg9Uz1 pic.twitter.com/ywNHncYjfk

— Zee News (@ZeeNews) May 9, 2016

Features of HoloFlex

  • HoloFlex features a 1920x1080 full high-definition Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touchscreen display.
  • Images are rendered into 12-pixel wide circular blocks rendering the full view of the 3D object from a particular viewpoint.
  • These pixel blocks project through a 3D printed flexible microlens array consisting of over 16,000 fisheye lenses.
  • The resulting 160x104 resolution image allows users to inspect a 3D object from any angle simply by rotating the phone.
  • HoloFlex is also equipped with a bend sensor, which allows for the user to bend the phone as a means of moving objects along the z-axis of the display.

Functionality and application

  • The bend gestures for Z-Input to facilitate the editing of 3D models, for example, when 3D printing. Using the touchscreen, a user can swipe to manipulate objects in the x and y axes, while squeezing the display to move objects along the z-axis.
  • Due to the wide view angle, multiple users can examine a 3D model simultaneously from different points of view. By employing a depth camera, users can also perform holographic video conferences with one another.
  • HoloFlex also can be used for holographic gaming. In a game such as Angry Birds, for example, users would be able to bend the side of the display to pull the elastic rubber band that propels the bird. When the bird flies across the screen, the holographic display makes the bird literally pop out of the screen in the third dimension.

What is Holography? 

Holography is the science and practice of making holograms. A hologram is a photographic recording of a light field and not an image formed by a lens.  It is used to display a fully 3D image of the holographed subject, which is seen without the aid of intermediate optics or special glasses. The hologram itself is not an image and it is usually unintelligible when viewed under diffuse ambient light. 

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