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HoloFlex is the world’s first flexible glasses-free 3D smartphone


21 Jun 2013
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We had already seen glasses-free 3D displays in smartphone few years back, which did not do well. HoloFlex is the first flexible holographic smartphone that has been developed by researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab that introduced the ReFlex earlier this year as the world’s first flexible smartphone with bend input and active haptic feedback. This capable of rendering 3D images with motion parallax and stereoscopy without head tracking or glasses.

Unlike the ReFlex, this doesn’t have haptic feedback for bend input, but has a bend sensor, which allows you to bend the phone as a means of moving objects along the z-axis of the display. It has a 1080p Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touchscreen display.

The 3D image is rendered on the display by a ray-tracing algorithm that simulates a hexagonal array of 160×104 virtual fisheye cameras. An array of 16,640 microscopic half-dome fisheye lenses distributes the rays of each virtual camera horizontally and vertically back into the eyes of the user, reconstructing the 3D scene.

The bend sensor is connected to an RFduino chip with Bluetooth hardware. RFduino Library 2.3.1 allows communication of bend sensor values to the Android board over Bluetooth. The final layer consists of a 66 x 50 mm Android circuit board with a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 2GB of RAM. The board runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop).

“The circuit board was placed such that it forms a rigid handle on the left back of the HoloFlex device. The handle allows users to comfortably squeeze the device one-handedly,” said the company. When a user plays the “Angry Birds” game with HoloFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot and the holographic display makes the bird literally pop out of the screen in the third dimension.

Queen’s researchers will unveil the HoloFlex prototype at conference in Human-Computer Interaction, ACM CHI 2016, on Monday May 9th.
Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University, said: HoloFlex offers a completely new way of interacting with your smartphone. It allows for glasses-free interactions with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user. By employing a depth camera, users can also perform holographic video conferences with one another. When bending the display users literally pop out of the screen and can even look around each other, with their faces rendered correctly from any angle to any onlooker.

HoloFlex is the world’s first flexible glasses-free 3D smartphone
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