New ultrathin display could soon beam 3D holograms from phones

19 Apr 2019

Image: © Carlo/

A Korean research team believes its latest ultrathin display could turn smartphones into mobile 3D hologram projectors.

Imagine being able to project a 3D hologram of a friend from your smartphone right in front of you, just like you’re having a face-to-face conversation? That’s a real possibility in the years ahead following a breakthrough achieved by a team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

In a paper published to Nature Communications, the team said it has designed an ultrathin display that can project dynamic, multi-coloured 3D holographic images.

The system’s key component is a thin film of titanium filled with tiny holes that precisely correspond with each pixel in a LCD panel. Acting like a ‘photon sieve’, each pinhole diffracts light emerging from them widely, resulting in a high definition 3D image observable from a wide angle.

“Our approach suggests that holographic displays could be projected from thin devices, like a cell phone,” said Prof YongKeun Park who led the research. The team demonstrated its approach by producing a hologram of a moving, tri-coloured cube.

US presidential candidate to tour via hologram

Staying on the subject of holograms, Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 US elections, Andrew Yang, will be using 3D holograms to tour remotely across the country.

Aside from using the technology to get himself to more locations faster than physically travelling there, he hopes to use it as a way of showing some of the latest technologies he is hoping to embrace if he were elected president.

Speaking to the Carroll Times Herald, Yang said the hologram tour is “tied into the message of the campaign around the fact that it is 2019, and soon it will be 2020, and things are changing, and we can’t just keep doing the same things over and over again and expect it to achieve the results we need”.

This isn’t the first instance of a major political figure using holograms to campaign, with the current Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan projecting himself as a 10ft-hologram to an audience during his previous role as prime minister in 2014.

Pepsi denies wanting to launch a giant space billboard

In a strange case of PR gone awry, Futurism reported that Pepsi was to partner with a Russian company called StartRocket to launch a huge billboard into space to advertise the former’s Adrenaline Rush energy drink.

A spokesperson for Russian PepsiCo confirmed StartRocket’s announcement at the time. However, not long after a loud backlash on social media from space advocates and the general public, another US-based PepsiCo spokesperson said to Gizmodo that it had no more plans to launch billboards into space after its original stratospheric test.

Even more strange was the fact that a StartRocket spokesperson said after this revelation that this was news to them. “Unfortunately, I can’t prove or disprove it because of lack of information,” the spokesperson said.

China building test site for autonomous cars on a motorway

Bloomberg has reported that a state-backed Chinese company called Qilu Transportation Development Group is building a test route for autonomous cars on an existing motorway in the country’s Shandong province. This track will stretch a distance of 26km with construction having started earlier this month and expected to be completed in September.

The test route will have a number of different common road features including three tunnels, one bridge, three toll booths and a number of challenging slopes. Also, the company plans to install a series of LiDAR systems sensors, weather-monitoring equipment and intelligent traffic signs for data exchange between test vehicles, the road and users.

As for those who regularly use this piece of motorway, the company said that they will just have to find an alternate route.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic