Researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne and the Beijing Institute of Technology are claiming that they have created the worlds thinnest hologram.
This nano-hologram is 1000 times thinner than a human hair and provides us with hope that one day screen size will no longer be an issue – as content can be beamed outwards from a phone display, for instance.
RMIT is claiming that the hologram is easy to make and scalable for different devices. However, the University admits that we are not yet at the stage where we can send messages to Jedi. Instead a rigid, thin film has to be developed next that can be laid onto an LCD screen in order for the hologram to be displayed. So we're still a long way off phones, tablets, and PCs generating the sorts of holograms that will really blow our minds.
Holograms are a technology that humans have been dreaming of since Douglas Quaid made a second version of himself in Total Recall. However, until now holograms have only been possible on devices that wouldn't dream of fitting in a trouser pocket due to the large light wavelengths needed to generate a hologram. Creating a hologram this thin is a significant step towards a day when your smartphone needn't worry about screen size.
But straight up holograms aren't necessarily the only way to achieve this sci-fi dream; augmented reality is also another interesting avenue that breaks down conventional display-confined computing. Take Microsoft's HoloLens headset, which can overlay content onto the world around you, negating the need for actual holograms.
Then there's virtual reality, which involves simulating an entire world around you. We've already seen VR take off in a big way, with headsets like the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift all landing as hugely popular devices in recent years.