Late last week, RED Digital Cinema CEO Jim Jannard announced the company’s partnership with Hewlett Packard spin-off startup Leia Inc., “the leading provider of lightfield holographic display solutions for mobile.”
This announcement gives us a better glimpse of what RED might mean when it says its Hydrogen One smartphone, set to launch for $1200 in 2018, would have a “holographic display.”
To achieve this 3D effect projecting out of a mobile screen, Leia Inc. uses light field holographic technology which pairs several layers of LCDs with a directional backlight to offer a user two views of the same object (right eye/left eye) as a user rotates the device (watch the video above).
Based on previous demos of Leia’s technology, viewing angles might be limited and the holographs may only minimally project out of the screen.
But, a lot can change in only a year or two, and Leia stated that recent breakthroughs in nano-photonic design and manufacturing “provide a complete light field ‘holographic’ display solution for mobile devices” but that the smartphone display would operate normally whenever the light field is not in operation.
According to RED’s initial announcement of the Hydrogen One, its 5.7-inch display “features nanotechnology that seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games” and RED Channel would be launched to find 4-view holographic content, like movie, games and shopping apps, to enjoy alongside the display’s new capabilities.
Jannard told RED users that to create .h4v (holographic 4-view) files, you’d need to shoot “four cameras (we are building solutions from consumer to professional), convert 3D to .h4v (very easy) or convert 2D to 3D (very hard) and then to .h4v.”
The phone will also be able to convert stereo sound into multi-dimensional audio.
The Hydrogen One will arrive in the first half of 2018, but we’ll keep our eyes open for functional prototypes coming out in the next few months.