A prototype holographic display named Leia - after the Star Wars princess who appeared in holographic form asking Obi-Wan Kenobu for help - is demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Matthew Stock reports.
3D holographic displays have got a step closer with this prototype on show at the Mobile World Congress. Partly inspired by Princess Leia's holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, the technology aims to give any LCD display the ability to generate 3D holographic images. Appropriately named Leia, the company's CEO David Fattal says they combine 64 images to create a holographic effect without the need for 3D glasses. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID FATTAL, INVENTOR OF LEIA, SAYING: "We're offering the first mobile holographic display. So, it's a display that is able to project 64 different images, going in different directions of space. So that when you look at it, your left eye and your right eye will actually see a different image and you will see in 3D. And not only that, but when you move your head around the display - you can rotate or tilt or shift the display - your eyes will see a different pair every time and you will get the sense of parallax, which means you will be able to see around objects as well." Fattal and his team were able to engineer a specific component that could be used with existing LCD displays to make them holographic. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID FATTAL, INVENTOR OF LEIA, SAYING: "As we essentially change just one small chief component which is called the backlight and we introduce our nano technology on to it... And out of this we're able to send rays of light into space instead of disorganised light that would propagate in all directions. And as a result we're able to send images exactly where we want them to appear." This 64-camera array demonstrates how the holographic image is created, and shows its potential for real-time video chat. Later this year Leia plans to release a small display module that can produce full-colour 3D images and videos. They hope early adopters will begin developing new applications and content. While it's not quite the finished product, if the technology continues to evolve, Star Wars-style 3D holograms might not be so far, far away.