The next messaging frontier: sending holograms on your smartphone

New chip embeds a holographic projector on your phone, bringing real 3D graphics to your mobile

There may come a time when holographic projections, like what we saw in Star Wars becomes reality. Ostendo Technologies is trying to make that happen with its mini projectors that can be embedded into devices as small as smartphones.

These projectors are not much bigger than Tic Tacs, powered by chips that will fit into smartphones and are capable of projecting video on a surface as large as a 48 inches. The more chips put together, the bigger and more intricate the images. Next year, the chips will be shipped but only with the capacity of projecting 2D videos. Holographic capability is coming soon said Ostendo's chief executive and founder Hussein S. El-Ghoroury.

[Image credit: sxc.hu)

Goodbye, video calling

What does Ostendo have in the lab right now? Something called the Ostendo Quantum Photonic Imager that melds an image processor with a wafer that contains LEDs, paired with software that helps the unit render images.

The current working prototype is a set of six chips that together beam a 3D image that appears consistent, irrespective where the viewer is positioned.

Ostendo's chips also have stunningly high resolution, while Apple's Retina display manages 300 dots per inch, Ostendo's reaches 5000. The chips will likely be sold for US$30 per chip, which makes it likely to be featured in high-end smartphones. The question here is which manufacturer would snap them up first? Or will Ostendo end up being acquired by a company with interest in virtual reality?

The company says it's still refining its products, trying to further decrease the size of its pixels for even higher resolution. Ostendo sees the potential for its chips to go anywhere a display is needed, whether large-scale projector screens or wearable tech like glasses and smartwatches.

You won't be seeing the tech just yet as the chips will only be shipped out in 2015, with the 3D chips are being slated for late 2015. So put your holograph dreams on hold for a while. Might we suggest rewatching the original Star Wars trilogy in the meantime?

[Source: WSJ]

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