HP 3D Display Technology: Will iPhone 6 Have 3D Display?

By Philip Ross on March 22, 2013 4:00 PM EDT

iPhone
Hewlett-Packard unveiled its new 3D display technology that doesn’t require special glasses to see. Suitable for small screens, will the iPhone 6, rumored to be released this summer, have 3D capability? (Photo: Reuters)

Luddites, beware: Hewlett-Packard (HP) is propelling culture into a golden digital age with it unveiling of new three-dimensional display technology suitable for smartphones and tablets. HP's new 3D technology will allow 3D viewing on small screens without the assistance of any special glasses. HP published their findings in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday.

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David Fattal, the lead author of the paper, told the Associated Press that the effect is "much like you'd see in the movie "Star Wars" with the hologram of Princess Leia."

Daily mail reports that the 3D display technology will allow viewers to see images in full color and from multiple angles up to three feet away. To do so, the team at HP, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, made a screen that is thin, high-resolution and has a wide view zone. According to Fox News, scientists used nanotechnology to engrave small circles with tiny grooves in them into a glass layer of the display, allowing the viewer to see 64 different points of view. When the device is tilted or rotated, the viewer will see two of these images at a time, resulting in a 3D image.

"That means viewers can see a person's face with one ear blocked from view, but reveal the ear by swiveling the screen," AP reported.

From Mashable:

"The screen is made by modifying a conventional liquid-crystal display (LCD), the same kind of display found in most phones, laptops, tablets, and televisions. Researchers hope these 3D systems will enable new kinds of user interfaces for portable electronics, gaming, and data visualization. The work, carried out at HP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., relies on complex physics to make 3D displays that are as thin as half a millimeter."

According to Mashable, there has been hardly any innovation for making 3D images since the early 2000s. And as NASDAQ.com points out, up until now, glasses-free 3D imagine has been limited to video games, "gimmicky" smartphones and patents.

In their report published in Nature, Fattal and his team admit that "None of the leading multiview 3D solutions is particularly well suited to mobile devices," but that their "guided-wave illumination technique" will allow for 3D images to be viewed up to a distance of three feet away.

Will the iPhone 6 feature this technology? Rumors are flying as the blogosphere buzzes with speculations about the new iPhone, believed to be released to consumers in July. And mouths are drooling after Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley said she expects the new iPhone iteration will ignite a big comeback for Apple.

Among the iPhone 6 rumors are that the phone will have a see-through exterior, an ultra-sensitive touchscreen that allows users to write on the screen with a regular pencil or pen and live 3D and video conferencing calls.

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