Soon You Can Make Holographic 3D Video Calls With Your Android Phone

If you have been tracking the evolution of technology then you know that two things on the forefront are holographic technology and flexible screens. As we get closer and closer to wearable technology (that you don’t really wear), it appears that we are getting extremely close to the types of technology speculated in science fiction over the past several decades.

For one, researchers at Queen’s University Human Media Lab have created what they are calling the world’s first flexible holographic smartphone. This is an Android-based smartphone prototype which has been named HoloFlex.

HoloFlexThe phone looks standard enough, with a full HD OLED (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen. But when you bend the flexible material of the phone’s body it creates a 3D-image without the use of 3D glasses.   It works because of the incorporation of a bend sensor inside the device which allows users to manipulate objects along the z-axis, which is what creates that 3D depth input. The bend sensor functions through the incorporation of 16,000 fisheye lenses that bend light from the screen to provide the capability of projection.

Project researcher Dr. Vertegaal explajns, “HoloFlex offers a completely new way of interacting with your smartphone. It allows for glasses-free interactions with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user.”

He goes on to say, “When bending the display, users literally pop out of the screen and can even look around each other, with their faces rendered correctly from any angle to any onlooker.”

Of course, it is important to know that while the phone’s screen has the full HD OLED display, when bent and operating in 3D, the image quality reduces to 160 x 104. This means the image is grainy but still, it is quite the remarkable accomplishment which can still serve as a proof of concept for simple video calls or maybe early 3D gaming environments. At the same time, the technology requires at least a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 2 GB of memory, running on Android Lollipop; and so it will be a while, probably, before this can become an industry standard.