HoloFlex: Bendable smartphones with Holographic display

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The world of smartphones has been inundated with a flurry of launches of late with each claiming to outshine the other in some way. So while we have phone makers boast about the fast charging feature for their batteries or the optical image stabilisation feature on their cameras, there are others who pride in the high resistance capability of their phones. More often than not, all the heavily publicised features don’t lend any intrinsic worth in itself to the phones-something as a sort of mainstay. As such, the smartphone world is keenly awaiting its next revolutionary breakthrough in hardware design, and if the efforts of Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Canada bear fruit, we may well be on our way to one.

The new HoloFlex smartphone which is Android Lollipop based has a full HD display with a 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon 810 processor powering it along with 2 GB RAM. And we haven’t yet mentioned the most exciting aspect of this smartphone-it is bendable! The bendable holographic Lightfield based display can project 3D images. The display is basically FOLED which stands for flexible OLED with a screen resolution of 1920 X 1080 pixels. Layered on top of the FOLED screen is a lens array composed of 16,640 half-dome shaped droplets arranged in a hexagonal matrix formation. The 12 pixel wide circular area that each lens is made up of is projected outwards, and each of the resultant 80 or so pixel image blocks that is formed holds the entire data of the image is being thrown up( this data varies as per positioning of the lens). Each of The 16,640 lens give a unique view of the unfolding scene, and together they will constitute the 3D image rendering of the entire scene with a field of view of 35 degrees.

The HoloFlex will allow software models to be turned into Light field display-based holograms; this essentially means we can view motion parallax effects on increasingly vivid images. Apart from the usual X and Y axis, the HoloFlex incorporates a Z axis as well, which literally translates to adding a new dimension to your interactive repertoire. All in all, it is an exciting proposition for gamers. Take for intsance, when you are playing Angry a birds, we usually push the sling along the reverse X-Y axis in order to propel it forward along the desired direction with the necessary speed. With HoloFlex, all that users would be required to do is bend their phones as the entire body of phone would act as a sort of Spring providing haptic feedback for user control along the z axis. This also helps in giving a more wholesome three dimensional effect to the holograms.

Smartphones with holographic displays may well turn out to be the next big thing in phone technology. Unfortunately, though, it is nowhere close to being commercially produced yet-viability of the micro lens array being the main issue. The makers of HoloFlex will present their smartphone at the ACM CHI Conference in San Jose, California.