This holographic phone is the future we've been waiting for


Imagine a world where your phone bends in your palm to let you suddenly create bright and vibrant holograms of whatever you're seeing on the screen - where you don't just fling birds at pigs, but you can spin the phone around to decide on the optimum angle.

That's the future researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen's University are gunning for with their new holographic tech, which you manipulate holographic 3D images and could entirely change the way you use your phone.

The new tech, called the HoloFlex, is intended for all manner of smartphone uses: from gaming to bringing your photos to life in 3D or even watching films popping out of your phone... watch the video below to see someone play Angry Birds in a whole new way to see what we mean.

Low res display

However, you'll instantly see the big problem: the screen looks terrible. You'll probably be surprised to find out that it's got as many pixels as most smartphones, with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 flexible OLED touchscreen display.

Researchers at Queen's University said: "Images are rendered into 12-pixel wide circular blocks rendering the full view of the 3D object from a particular viewpoint. These pixel blocks project through a 3D printed flexible microlens array consisting of over 16,000 fisheye lenses.

"The resulting 160 x 104 resolution image allows users to inspect a 3D object from any angle simply by rotating the phone."

This is, sadly, still in the prototype phase, and we've got no information on when it'll be appearing in the newest iPhone - but it won't be any time soon.

But maybe in the coming years we'll see the big brands adopting holographic technology rather than just upping the amount of pixels it can fit on your phone's display - this is the future we've been promised for years and we might have just taken a step closer.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.