Samsung Have Filed A Patent For A Phone That Displays Star Wars-Style 3D Holograms
While the iconic 'Help me Obi-Wan, you're my only hope' scene in A New Hope is far from the only representation of 3D hologram technology in the media, it's absolutely the one that made millions of people wish that such a technology were real.
Now, it appears that we could be well on the way to that future, as Samsung have filed a patent for what they call a "hologram reproducing apparatus" that can "emit a write beam corresponding to the hologram pattern."
This apparatus, theoretically, could then be built into the screens of phones and tablets to create devices that literally project 3D holograms, just like R2-D2 or that thing that ordered the clones to execute order 66 (had to get a prequel reference in there somewhere.
As part of the filing process, Samsung have also explained how their 3D Hologram System would work. Of course, we're not electronic engineers, so we can't fathom a single word they've said, but essentially the system works as such: the light emitted from the phone's screen is passed through a relay lens that contains several microlens units. These units modulate the light into taking a 3D effect above the phone's physical screen. It's not known whether or not you'd be able to interact with the holograms Halo-style in any way, but the hologram probably won't burn you, proving we've moved on from the time where they did that hologram thing with Tupac at Coachella.
The tech kind of builds on a type of holographic technology that's been used for years: the kind of 3D screen that's been used in devices like the HTC Evo 3D (which was a bust), the Nintendo 3DS (which people don't use in 3D anymore) and the RED Hydrogen One smartphone (largely regarded as one of the worst smartphones to hit the market in the last few years). So there's a healthy heritage behind the tech then.
However, it's likely that if Samsung do decide to take such a tech to market, they'll want to do so in the most futuristic way possible. This would obviously mean doing holograms that actually project, rather than just creating an annoying 3D effect on the screen. Importantly, it probably won't require the use of special glasses or goggles either.