A mobile phone used to be a simple device for texting and calling. Then it became a smartphone boasting of Internet and camera functionalities. Now, the smartphone can be converted into a microscope through an attachable lens that can help magnify the object. One might wonder what the future would be like with a smartphone capable of projecting 3D holograms floating into thin air.
Ostendo, a startup based in California, makes this possible following its creation of a hologram projector chip for smartphones with two versions rolling out in 2015 or 2016. The cost of the chipset is estimated at $30.
The CEO and founder of Ostendo, Hussein S. El-Ghoroury, says the first iteration of the chipset will only be able to project 2D videos, but the next 3D version would have a unique holographic capability. The 3D model has yet to be completely polished, Ostendo admits. If the little issues won’t be fixed yet, then delays for the roll out should be expected.
As per Patently Apple, the Ostendo Quantum Photonic Imager is the technology used that “combines an image processor with a wafer containing radically miniaturized light-emitting diodes (LEDs).” The miniature projectors will produce crisp videos and 3D images for giant screens and smartphones without the need for 3D glasses, thanks to the computer chip that would control the brightness, color and angle of every beam of light across a million pixels. The chipset technology can also be used on tablets, smart watches and televisions. The projectors are estimated to be approximately similar to the size of a Tic Tac.
Research says Ostendo intends to increase the pixel density to 5,000 dpi. MIT associate professor Ramesh Raskar in fact says resolution is an edge for Ostendo.
"Ostendo's advantage and key to its 3D capability is its resolution. The Retina display on Apple's iPhone, for example, has about 300 dpi while Ostendo's chips are at about 5,000 dpi,” Raskar says.
Based on collated reports, the company has been deep at work — and often in utmost secrecy —over some projects for the past nine years, of which the chipset was among them.
El-Ghoroury claims that the ultimate vision of Ostendo is to have its chips used in electronic displays everywhere, whether it’s for a smart watch, smart TV, smartphones or tablets emitting hologram-like graphics.
Ostendo’s vision of 2D or 3D hologram capabilities is something everyone looks forward to. Whatever is the future like for our smartphones, it sure looks nothing bleak.