HoloFlex – A Holographic Smartphone

HoloFlex AngryBirdsHoloFlex is the world’s first holographic smartphone. Developed at the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University, the HoloFlex is something different. First, it’s flexible. Secondly, it’s able to render 3D images without head tracking of glasses.

HoloFlex Hardware

The images are rendered in 3D using motion parallax and stereoscopy technology. The touchscreen display is a 1920×1080 full HD Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED). The holograms are 12-pixel wide circular blocks. 16,000 fisheye lenses in a 3D printed microlens project these pixels in a 160×104 resolution.

According to Dr. Vertegaal from Queen’s University, “HoloFlex offers a completely new way of interacting with your smartphone. It allows for glasses-free interaction with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user.” What this mean is that the user will have the freedom to move the device around. The user won’t be tied down to one spot or require a peripheral device.

The hardware that powers the HoloFlex is a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon 810 processor. The GPU is an Adreno 430 that supports OpenGL 3.1. There is 2GB of RAM and the OS is Android 5.1. The HoloFlex is based on the ReFlex flexible smartphone.

Applications and Use

The applications for the HoloFlex will make collaborating on projects a new experience. Video conferences will be done in 3D. The touchscreen will enable users to swipe through objects. Users will be able to move around and manipulate objects on the x and y-axis. This will mean that the 3D object can be explored with the physical object being there. Multiple users in different parts of the world will be able to explore the same object simultaneously.

“By employing a depth camera, users can also perform holographic video conferences with one another”, says Dr. Vertegaal. “When bending the display users literally pop out of the screen and can even look at each other, with their faces rendered correctly from any angle to any onlooker”.

3D printing will be easy with the HoloFlex. Users will be able to model objects for 3D printing. The z-axis will function with bend gestures to help with editing. This will be great for science, technology, and educational purposes.

Gaming will have a new experience. For example, Angry Birds will make the bird pop out of the screen and fly across. Other games will have new elements able to be put into their functionality. What other games will be designed for the HoloFlex will be exciting to see.

The HoloFex will be unveiled at the Human Computer Interaction conference in San Jose, California. The ACM CHI 2016 will be on Monday, May 9th.

Source: Queensu

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