Hologram technology coming to a smartphone near you soon

Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

To see the future of technology, all you have to do is pay close attention to sci-fi movies. Tablets, video conferencing, air gestures — these are all technologies that were predicted by films. So where are our holograms?

While recent hologram technology has helped bring deceased artists back to life, they require complex mirror and light systems, and cost a fortune to create. Our fantasies of holograms in our pockets — that is projected from smartphones, tablets and watches — has been but a dream.

A California company based in Carlsbad called Ostendo Technologies Inc., however, could hold the key to bringing that sci-fi fantasy into reality.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Ostendo has developed a tiny Tic Tac-sized projector that can project visible 3D holograms without requiring dorky 3D glasses.

The Ostendo Quantum Photonic Imager "fuses an image processor with a wafer containing micro light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, alongside software that helps the unit properly render images."

And if you take The Wall Street Journal's word, it's not as fuzzy as the ones in Star Wars: A New Hope:

"Ostendo showed a working prototype: a set of six chips laid together that beamed a 3-D image of green dice spinning in the air. The image and motion appeared consistent, irrespective of the position of the viewer."

Compared to the iPhone's 326 pixels per inch Retina display, Ostendo's hologram technology can piece together 3D images with up to 5,000 pixels per inch. That's tack sharp.

Ostendo plans to ship a 2D version of its high-res projector next year, with the hologram-projecting one set to launch in 2016. With $90 million from venture capitals and a huge chunk of an additional $38 million funding from DARPA, it looks like Ostendo will have the resources to make hologram technology a real thing. Now, someone just needs to invent a real-life R2-D2 that knows how to co-pilot an X-wing and trash talk golden humanoid protocol droids.

Via The Wall Street Journal

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