One day, all smartphones will be like this.
We’ve seen 3D phones before, we’ve seen bendy phones before… but this is the first time the two technologies have come together in one device – ladies and gents, we could well be looking at the future of phones.
To give it its technical name, this is the world’s first holographic flexible smartphone.
Its screen shows 3D images and videos without the user having to wear 3D glasses, and you don’t need to stand in the ‘sweet spot’ either – the images will have just as much depth if you’re at an angle to the phone.
That’s extremely rare in the world of 3D.
The phone has been dubbed HoloFlex. It’s a research project from the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Canada.
So how does it work? Images are rendered into 12-pixel wide circular blocks (this allows the image to have depth when seen from all angles) that project through a 3D-printed flexible micro lens array consisting of over 16,000 fisheye lenses.
Like the ReFlex phone – HoloFlex’s predecessor from the same research team – it also has a bend sensor which lets you bend the handset to move objects along the z-axis.
In other words, you can swipe to move things on-screen as normal, and then bend the phone to bring objects out of the screen. Which is pretty cool.
Sadly the phone is purely in the research stages at the moment. But hopefully the technology will find its way into consumer handsets soon.