Dreams of beaming princess Leia into your living room might come true sooner than you think, thanks to breakthrough developments by display technology company Ostendo Technologies.
The company has developed a micro projector called the Quantum Photonic Imager (what a name), and it's not much larger than a Tic Tac.
In development for the past nine years, the entire module is now small enough to cram into a smartphone, and it's capable of projecting 2D videos up to 48 inches in size.
Taking the lens into account, the micro projector is around the same size as the camera module found in existing smartphones, and we can expect it to land in devices by summer 2015, at the cost of around US$30 per chip.
The company expects the first 2D projector unit to be in the hands of consumers before the summer of 2015, so we could see the arrival of projector phones which are a lot less bulky than previous offerings like the Samsung Galaxy Beam.
You mentioned Holograms...
We sure did.
When six chips are combined, wonderful, magical science things happen, and the end result is a proper 3D holographic image. The Wall Street Journal managed to sneak a peak at an image of a green 3D die spinning in the air, and it reported that image consistency remained clear, despite viewing it from different angles.
A stack of six chips will of course make the whole module substantially bulkier, so Ostendo Technologies will continue to work on producing a 3D capable chip thin enough to slot into future smartphones, with an even higher resolution output.
The second 3D-capable version of the chip will reportedly begin manufacturing in the second half of 2015, so fully-fledged holographic projector devices could still very will line your pockets within the next ten years.
Another question of course, is why you'd we want a 3D holographic projector in your smartphone in the first place. There's no 3D content to currently support it, and it's nothing more than an intriguing tech demo, for the time being at least.
But if they become mainstream, then the content will surely come, and we're slowly but surely beginning to see the same thing happen with 4K TVs, as more 4K content slowly trickles out to the masses.
As for us? We're keeping our fingers crossed for 3D Fruit Ninja. We could do with the exercise.