A spin-off from HP Labs is working with RED – the high-def digital camera guys – to release a smartphone that features a holographic display – a glimpse at tech that also has digital signage touted as a use-case.
Red Digital Cinema is working with Leia Inc on what’s being billed as the world’s first lightfield “holographic” smartphone – the HYDROGEN ONE. If plans stick, the first units will ship before next summer.
The tech – as you will see watching the video – creates three-dimensional visuals above the flat plane of the smartphone display glass. It is touted as technology that would be used for things like gaming, movie viewing and mixed reality applications.
Leia’s website suggests that beyond the small screen of a smartphone, it can also be used for large-format displays, like those used for signage jobs. So you could imagine this, particularly, in environments like museums and galleries, specialty retail and corporate settings. Imagine a mining company being able to see dimensional visuals of exploration properties.
This lightfield technology is waaaay the hell over my head in terms of what’s going on, but from what I can tell it has to do with a display’s lighting source, adding a Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting (DLB) Layer that SEEMS to replace the more conventional LED edge-lighting source used in most LCDs these days.
That’s all I got. The Leia site is pretty skimpy on detail.
The strategic partnership between RED and Leia is positioned as something that “will leverage RED’s expertise in digital content creation and deep connections in the film industry as well as Leia’s proprietary lightfield display technology and software platform to disrupt the world of mobile entertainment. The Hydrogen program will feature stunning holographic content and 3D sound for movie viewing, interactive gaming, social messaging and mixed reality.”
You can get a little sense of things here:
And this tweet suggest how the holographic layer would be used with interactive screens, like touch tables.
Interesting stuff. Like all 3D and holographic stuff, it is fun to look at. The challenge is to get beyond the eye candy-novelty stage and find applications that benefit from the visuals NOT being flat.
I recently did a podcast with a company that does hologram-ish displays, and measures success through things like coupon distribution and redemptions in a drug chain.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.