As of 2015, you may be able to talk to your friends via a hologram projected from your phone.
Ostendo, a company who has been funded by American military agency DARPA, has developed a 5,000 ppi projector the size of a Tic Tac that is able to control the color, brightness, and angle of individual beams of light across one million pixels. Each chip is able to project a viewable image by itself, but by adding additional chips, it allows for more complex and detailed imagery to be displayed. In comparison, the display on an iPhone is currently 300 ppi, so this projector should be much more vivid than anything currently on the market.
The company has also produced a demo involving six chips which was able to create a spinning green dice in the air that could be viewed from any angle. There was also apparently no loss of motion depending on where you viewed it from.
While the technology is certainly in its infancy, it does lead to an exciting future. The first available chips (shipping the summer of 2015), will only be able to project 2D video onto surfaces up to 48 inches in size. However, Ostendo states that chips allowing 3D images to float in the air will begin manufacturing only a couple of months later. This 3D chip will surprisingly only cost $30 for consumers, which means it should find its way into everything from TVs to smart watches.
With hologram technology and virtual reality soon becoming reality rather than science fiction, we’re in for a world where we can interact directly with the content we consume. Gaming, shopping, and even your powerpoint presentations won’t be confined to a 2D screen, but will become interactive pieces.
Mostly though, I can’t wait to see one of these crammed into an R2-D2 replica.