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Samsung Patent Describes Holographic TV Technology ( 52

Patently Mobile is reporting about a new patent application filed by Samsung that lays out new holographic TV technology. Slashdot reader Rick Schumann writes via Consumerist: Holographic displays as described by Samsung would be able to make the depth the brain perceives consistent with the focus of the eyes. Lasers would be used to project holograms that float in front of the screen, which of course sounds a heck of a lot like a mini Princess Leia telling Obi-Wan Kenobi he's her only hope. The display apparatus could also include an eye tracking unit that would locate an observer's pupils and adjust how far it has to project the holographic image for optimum viewing.

Worth noting: This is just a patent application; no indication of even a working prototype.

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Samsung Patent Describes Holographic TV Technology

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  • by ctrl-alt-canc ( 977108 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:06AM (#53288079)
    ...for viewing the towering inferno []: it is a Samsung product, after all.
  • by Compulawyer ( 318018 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:45AM (#53288157)
    In this context, you can be sure there is more. The patent laws of the US and other countries require that the application (and consequently, any issued patent) describe the invention in sufficient detail so that someone of ordinary skill in the art area to which the invention most nearly pertains can make and use the invention. You don't have to build one, but you do have to provide enough detail so that someone else could build one.
    • by zalas ( 682627 )

      Does anyone have a link to the actual patent application? The summary on the linked blog pretty much gives no details about the specifics of the patent (i.e., pretty much any design for a holographic display would have the components listed in the summary of the patent given by the blog) The big elephants in the room are: (1) how do you build a spatial light modulator that has micron-size pixels and yet be big enough to comfortably view a big image, and (2) how do you compute in real time what values thos

  • Eye tracking.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by sTERNKERN ( 1290626 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @08:19AM (#53288239)
    means it is only for one person, or a few. This is not the holodeck you are looking for.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      I don't understand why eye tracking is necessary at all. In a pre-digital physics class (late '70s) we had holograms. They consisted of photographic film with moire patterns. They needed no eye tracking, and in fact that tech came decades later.

      Oh, wait--I just figured it out. The eye tracking is to make sure what you're seeing is what they want you to see. With a film hologram, it's like looking out a window. The eye tracking keeps you at the middle of the window. So this will likely be not for large TVs,

  • Like samsung phones, washing machines....
    • by Kartu ( 1490911 )

      Anecdotal evidence is... anecdotal. At work we had Apple laptop (pre Intel one), with exploded battery (torn aluminium looked scary)

  • Meh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @08:50AM (#53288343) Homepage

    Crooked Leia, storing classified information in a private server... did you know that she's still under investigation by the empire for doing so?

  • With the burning enthusiasm of ardent supporters it will sure become, like some Samsung products, an explosive success.
  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @10:24AM (#53288849)

    Sounds interesting but unless the price point was the same as a regular HDTV or close, I'm not going to feel any need to spend the extra on one. I don't really see much point in 2K or 4K or 3D sets. I'm sure they're great, and if they're the same price as a regular HD set (or just a little more) I might spring for it, but if they're $100+ more than an HD set- meh. I'm fine with slightly older TV technology thanks!

  • This is boring technology, even the lady in the patent isn't impressed with it! []

    Anyway, what the "Eye Tracking Unit" indicates is that this isn't actually a hologram but rather more tomfoolery of giving your eyes two different images. The problem with this is it won't look 3D when more than one person is looking at it.

    • It may suggest they've figured out a way to efficiently compute the wavefront using eye tracking as a simplifying assumption. That could be useful since, rather than running into difficulty as the number of viewers increases, the technology would approach true holographic projection as the number of eyes tracked and computational power was increased.

  • by impossiblefork ( 978205 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @11:26AM (#53289239)
    A system of this type has already been built by the German development company Seereal. Fraunhofer developed special anti-reflection coatings that allowed the construction of laser beam expansion systems for that display. Their system also used eye tracking.

    I haven't seen the patent claims, but from what I see in the article I can't say that there's anything novel there. The article is absolutely terrible as a report on a patent, with it being obvious that the author knows nothing about what he writes, either about patents or technology. For example, there is no mention of the patent claims, no mention of similar technology and an unsupported claim that the device is revolutionary.
  • If a system uses eye tracking to decide how to display something, doesn't that mean it's necessarily limited to a single user experience?

    • Don't think so. It still uses the underlying display technology of a holographic display so in theory the display technology should have the ability to fully reconstruct the light field. The problem with this approach is it is computationally very expensive to compute the wavefront. Hopefully, the eye tracking is just to simplify this computational task and one could just track as many eyes as computational power allowed.

  • I've seen this idea proposed at least since the mid 1980's. The problem is the so-called "spatial light modulator" which doesn't exist beyond something a few millimetres on a side capable of not much more than making a fuzzy dot, and that only in the monochromatic light of the laser. The problems, to be practical, are being able to produce a plane larger than the area to be viewed that can change the phase of the source light precisely (with fractional wavelength accuracy) in real time at a density of great
  • The difficult part of making a holographic display is the "transmissive light spatial modulator", as its referred to in the patent application. Since the patent tries to cover any conceivable device that would have this functionality, it is unlikely that they know how to make one themselves. Most of the main "innovations" are things which I realized after a couple of days thought on the subject (with just an undergraduate physics degree and no professional experience), so I can only imagine that they are s
  • The descriptions of the patent all seem to just describe a standard holographic display (look on wikipedia). You have a light source, a screen that either affects the amplitude or phase of the light, and then some lenses to properly display that light.

    It was my understanding that the hard part has always been doing the light calculations in real time. Going from a 3D description of a scene to the wavefront passing through the screen isn't trivial.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.