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Glasses-Free 3-D Display Well Suited for Mobile Devices

March 28, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Story and Images by Melinda Rose / Photonics

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 27, 2013 -- A new glasses-free 3-D display based on diffractive optics modulates at video rates and shows images that can be viewed from multiple angles even when the display is tilted, making it well suited for mobile devices.�

The holographic technique developed at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories overcomes challenges faced by other devices, such as being expensive and too slow for real-time operation, by using a new backlit display with LEDs and a thin waveguide that allows pixels to produce different views and colors that can be independently modulated at video rates.�

While much of the current autostereoscopic 3-D technology operates only at horizontal parallax, meaning that you see 3-D only when you move your head left or right, "We actually are talking about a technology that does 3-D for full parallax, which means that in principle you'd be able to move your head around the display, rotate your head in any direction and still see a 3-D image, much like you see in the movie Star Wars, for example ... the famous hologram of Princess Leia," said Dr. David Fattal, a researcher in HP's Information and Quantum Systems Lab, in a press briefing on the technology last week.

"One of the key factors of the technology is that it actually was designed to be very easy to animate at video rates, so we are aiming to achieve moving holograms in some way," said Fattal, an author of a paper about the work. Another important feature "is that it's compact and portable, and we think we can make it at quite low cost."

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