Holographic displays- Are we there yet?

First phone with holographic display

We probably might be. A couple of months back, RED the pioneer in professional camera equipment, took a leap of faith and plunged into the smartphone industry. The move was pretty daring, as they started pre-orders without even revealing the actual device. Just a glimpse of how the device might look at an angle was given on their website and the price tag was more than a $1000. Well, that’s a pretty bold move. All was done in the name of the first smartphone to feature a first in the industry, true holographic display. 


Now, there is a very small pocket of people who truly know the quality and brand reliability of RED. They are the professional YouTubers or videographers who are capable of owning an expensive RED camera who by the way is the first in the world to have the capability to record video at 8K resolution. The popular fan base for RED has been MKBHD (Marquees Brownie) who is known for his clear beautifully edited tech videos. 

What is a holographic display

A 3D hologram has been quite a favorite amongst fiction writers since the early 80’s. Star Wars has been using this concept in almost all of their movies. The concept is having a 3-dimensional image in front of you, without the need for any special glasses to be worn by a viewer. Pretty much a standalone projector which has the capability to show 3D objects before you, without them being present physically. 

Holographic display image


We have only recently acquired the technology to display 3D holograms in somewhat similar manner to the picture above. Well, we do need some hardware. It’s usually a triangular or square surface on all sides, that helps in projecting a 3D image in the center.

Surface for Holographic displays


But a true holographic display should be able to create 3D images on the surface of the screen, without any additional protruding hardware for the same. RED seems to have gathered the technology to make that possible. And after months of anticipation, we probably might know, how are they making it possible. 

Leia’s Lightfield display

So RED partnered with a startup called Leia, who are able to create a light field “holographic” simulation from synthetic mobile LCD’s. Its breakthrough in Nano-photonic design, along with proprietary hardware and software is able to project holographic 3D images on a smartphone display along with retaining the normal operation of the phone itself. 

The way it works is that the display uses Diffraction of light emitted from the screen, which interacts with nanostructures, that are in addition to the conventional LCD screen. This diffracting backlighting helps in creating a 3D model, which changes perception based upon the viewer’s physical angle.


We are in an early prototype yet on this. There are still certain light bleed issues that we see of. People on-board the hype train would find this very exciting. Although the real world usage as of right now is a bit skeptical. We still don’t know how much content would be still in – line with the holographic display tech. We might be arriving there soon, but its the first time we are seeing a confident and bold move made in the direction, with a top dollar price tag on it.

The only hope we have is the brand name of RED since they believe in delivering quality and have never delivered a half-baked product. Fingers crossed. If this turns out to be a well-made phone, its definitely going to change the game forever. 

What do you think about this? Is it possible at all? Would you buy this phone by RED? Let us know in the comments section below.


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A tech enthusiast by hobby and a cloud architect by profession. I live to read and love to write tech. My desire remains to see Jarvis from iron Man to actually run things around. I love to play guitar too and compose my songs. Music keeps me sane :)