A start-up has found a way to classic LCD technology for three-dimensional images without special glasses to use. The first display modules for this to come later this year on the market.
In a famous scene in Star Wars Princess Leia R2D2 makes a holographic video message from that plays in which they Obi -wan Kenobi asks for help. In the near future might smartphones and other mobile devices offer similar functionality, says David Fattal.
His company carries aptly named Leia and will this week demonstrate a prototype of its new 3D display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. During the year, then Leia wants to bring a small display module on the market that displays color 3D images and videos from 64 angles without viewers need special glasses for it.
The key to the technology Leia is an invention of Fattal, which makes the progress of the possibilities advantage to control the paths taken by light at the nanoscale. For the first time the founder has his concept he referred to as “MultiView Backlight”, described two years ago in a paper for Nature. At that time he was a researcher at HP Labs and worked on optical links, exchange coded information about the computers into light. But Fattal quickly became clear that the idea could also be used for holographic images. To realize it, he left Hewlett-Packard.
Optical links are based on nanostructures called diffraction grating. These ensure that light rays are passed depending on the angle at which they arrive in the right direction. Fattals reasoned that can otherwise use this grid also: He wanted to interpret them so that they send light in certain directions in space, and create the basis for a holographic 3D display
With Leia. Fattal has refined his original concept for better image quality and also developed a method to generate holograms by means of conventional liquid crystal displays (LCDs). That’s impressive, because it means that the technology is ready for commercialization, says Gordon Wetzstein, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, who specializes in display technologies of the next generation.
Every normal LCD screen has a component called backlight (English: Backlight), which consists of two parts: a light source and an attached light guide so-called plastic. The guide guides the light to the pixels of the display; this creates images, because at each pixel different portions of the incident light are blocked.
In essence, Leia has the normal lighting with a much more complex variant with bars on the nanoscale. Characterized to control much more accurately, which direction increases the light before it reaches the pixel array. Instead of all the light to pass as conventional displays in the same direction, can in this way a single light beam exactly Send to a certain pixel of the screen. Leia sets up the display so that it shows 64 different images, each of which is available from 1/64 pixel consists of all. These images are then combined together so that the brain of the viewer perceives a complete hologram. We would lose a part of the resolution, which makes the application on larger screens difficult. In today’s mobile devices, but the resolution is so high that viewers will not notice says whetstone.
The company plans a trial basis to bring out a small display module on an Asian market. To be bought it from early users, who will then begin the development of new applications and content.
The biggest question of all 3D displays is, especially after the failure of the recent wave of 3D TVs of how to bring customers to spend money on them. A chance seems to offer mobile gaming the area here.
Leia posted to its Web site resources with which developers can convert existing 3D graphics and animations in contents that are suitable for the new concept. Content developers can, for example, import 3D graphics or animations that are already used on the web or for a game. The tool of Leia makes it automatically the 64 sub-images, which are used for the generation of a hologram.
Holographic videos, the more similar the Princess Leia, are not yet possible. Your image appeared on all sides to be visible, but Leia with the technology it has only been possible to display a hologram in a 60 degree arc – and even that requires 64 precisely positioned cameras. At the Mobile World Congress Fattal wants to present a video chat in real time, but it needs a bulky camera array. He hopes to be able to simplify the structure nor to a single device. For example, could a future set of cameras available on the TV, record from there pictures of the person in front of it and send it over the Internet to another screen, then the hologram would appear on the. “This is in the not too distant future entirely feasible,” says Fattal
. ( Mike Orcutt )