Microsoft may be working on a holographic computing platform that involves a big, expensive headset. But researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab have developed a headset-free system that works with a smartphone-sized device.

It’s called HoloFlex, and it’s a flexible touchscreen display combined with an array of more than 16,000 fisheye lenses that give graphics a 3D effect, making it look like they pop off the screen.


As the team’s demo video makes clear though, there are some serious downsides to the technology.

The biggest problem is resolution: the HoloFlex uses a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, but images are rendered in circular blocks that are 12 pixels wide to give them a 3D effect… and that means you have an effects screen resolution of just 160 x 104. Imagery looks pretty grainy.

The upside is that you don’t need to wear special glasses to see the 3D effects. And since the system uses a flexible OLED display and a bend sensor, you can interact with content either by touching the screen or by bending it.

Researchers build a prototype using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Android 5.1 software. But theoretically this technology could be used with more powerful hardware (and higher-resolution screens) to open the door to more powerful holographic gaming, video conferencing, and other applications.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,506 other subscribers