Forget Ultra-HD: Get ready for Holo-TV
February 23, 2015
By Chris Forrester
Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) say they have developed technology which could lead to true, and highly affordable, Holographic television.
The facts emerged in trade magazine Large Display Monitor (LDM) which quoted the snappily entitled original story: “Frequency division color characterization apparatus for anisotropic leaky mode light modulators”.
Daniel Smalley, assistant professor of electrical engineering at BYU, described the technology as being affordable , and uses surface acoustic waves (SAW) generated in lithium niobate (LiNbO3) to control red, green and blue laser light passing through microscopic optical waveguides. Got that so far?
Professor Smalley says that by using large numbers of these SAW devices can be formed on a surface using semiconductor fabrication techniques. The team’s technology adapts and combines techniques from telecom and integrated optics in a way that makes it much less expensive than previous approaches, says LDM. “We can use this technology to make simple and inexpensive colour waveguide displays – including inexpensive holographic video displays,” Smalley added. “This can drop the cost of a holographic video display from tens of thousands of dollars to less than a thousand.”
The bottom line involves manufacturing a device that can display a massive 50 billion pixels per second, and results in 3D images handled at the same sort of resolution and frame rates as seen in today’s – now outmoded – standard definition models.
Prof. Smalley said one of the remaining challenges is up-rating the technology to 4K standards, and even to cope with “room-sized” holographic displays.
However, LDM’s contributor Matthew Brennesholtz admits that the technology might well be some years away, and “even decades”.