HP 3D Display Images Hover Above Device

HP Labs has developed a brand-new kind of 3D display that plays hologram-like videos without the need for any moving parts in the display, or special glasses worn by users. The videos displayed appear to hover above the screen; users can walk around them and experience an image or video from as many 200 different viewpoints. It's like walking around a real object.


(HP Logo hovers over display surface)

The screen is made by modifying a conventional liquid-crystal display (LCD), the same kind of display found in most phones, laptops, tablets, and televisions. Researchers hope these 3-D systems will enable new kinds of user interfaces for portable electronics, gaming, and data visualization. The work, carried out at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, relies on complex physics to make 3-D displays that are as thin as half a millimeter.

The HP display uses nanopatterned grooves, which HP researcher David Fattal, who led the work, calls “directional pixels,” to send light off in different directions. This requires no new moving parts, and the patterns are built into an existing display component, the backlight...

The new 3-D display builds on optics research demonstrating how the path, color, and other properties of light can be manipulated by passing it through materials patterned at the nanoscale...

Science fiction writers debuted the idea of a holographic display that hovered above its display surface in the 1920's; the earliest one I know about is the telestereo from Edmond Hamilton's 1928 novel Crashing Suns.

Fans in the current era recall the hand-held projector/data repository for the plans of the Death Star in the 2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones movie.


(Death Star hologram)

Via MIT's Technology Review and A multi-directional backlight for a wide-angle, glasses-free three-dimensional display (in the journal Nature)

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