HP Labs create multiview glasses-free 3D display less than 1mm thick (video)

21 Mar 2013

HP Labs has succeeded in creating multi-directional backlight technology in a thin, transparent form factor that generates 3D images which can be viewed from many angles and without the need for glasses. Could this technology be adapted for smartphone displays in the future?

A video demonstrating the technology below shows how a hologram-like 3D HP logo appears on the prototype LCD. This is generated via a backlight and nanopatterned grooves that send red, green and blue light in different directions.

The 3D image can be viewed from 200 angles and outside of this range the image disappears. Videos aren’t as easily reproduced in 3D on the modified LCD, which offers 64 viewpoints at 30fps.

While the thin, transparent LCD producing these images excites us with the prospects of its use in mobile devices, the technology is still has a ways to go, as producing a picture to recreate on this display requires a separate image for each possible viewpoint.


Details on this technology from the team based in Palo Alto, California, have been published in Nature.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.