Details provided about the holographic display on RED's upcomming smartphone
When RED, the maker of high-end camera equipment, announced that they were making a US$1200 smartphone, two key features stood out. The first was how their phone camera might compare to competitors, and the second was the holographic display that they planned to include.
Jim Jannard, CEO of RED, has said in a press release that they are working in partnership with Leia Inc., a company which developed out of HP Labs. Leia Inc. specializes in a type of LCD holographic technology known as a “Lightfield display” that uses multiple layers of LCD panels and directional backlights to create a holographic effect. ‘Lightfield’ is an autostereoscopic (3D without glasses) technology, but uses a different method than other well-known autostereoscopic examples such as the Nintendo 3DS.
The method employed by Nintendo is a simpler ‘parallax barrier’, which places a physical barrier in front of the screen that is imperceivable to the user, but blocks off pixels so that only one eye can see one set of pixels while the other eye can see the other set of pixels. This method frequently results in blurry images when viewed off center, but later versions of the 3DS incorporated eye tracking technology to avoid this issue.
However, Leia Inc’s proprietary ‘Lightfield’ uses the 'integral imaging' method where the multiple layers and micro lenses allow the eye to see a holographic image from multiple angles without introducing blurriness. It is also what allows holographic tricks like making images appear to project from the screen when viewed from an angle. In practice, this should allow holographic content while still having a high-quality screen for normal usage.
Jannard has said that content can be produced for the screen using four cameras or by converting 3D footage to a compatible 4D format.