PS5 could boast 3D holographic gaming screen – with no glasses needed

Sony DualShock 4
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sony has filed a patent for a 3D holographic display screen that we may see implemented in the next-generation PS5.

As reported by Dutch site LetsGoDigital, Sony Interactive Entertainment has developed and patented holographic display screen technology which will allow users to view 3D video (videogames and movies) without the need for 3D glasses. 

The patent was initially applied for back in 2017, but was officially published by USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) on September 3, 2019. 

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How will it work?

(Image credit: USPTO/Sony)

According to the patent, this technology will work by harnessing at least one display and plural pixel elements. At least one of these pixel elements will include a light emitter which will work with several movable micro mirrors to reflect light in various directions and create an image for the viewer. 

To create a 3D image, eye-tracking is implemented by use of an external sensor, which sees this light modulated so that the left and right eyes each receive different images – meaning you don't need uncomfortable 3D glasses.

Sony Alpha cameras are known for their eye-tracking technology, Eye AF, which the company has also used in its Sony smartphones – so it makes sense that Sony would seek to repeat the trick elsewhere.

In addition facial recognition is discussed, which would allow the technology to decipher how many people are actually viewing the screen, along with the ability to recognise facial gestures such as blinking or head moving – adjusting the image as needed. If that's not enough, the technology should even be able to detect how far you're sitting from the screen.

Next-gen 3D?

(Image credit: Sony)

It's likely we could see this new technology brought to the PS5 (as it's compatible with Sony consoles), however it's possible we could see it on Xbox Project Scarlett and Nintendo Switch too.

In the patent Sony clarifies that the holographic screen could work with Xbox and Nintendo consoles, as well as laptops, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart TVs and even mobile devices.  

The company hasn't clarified what it wants to do with this technology but it would allow users to have the option to view 3D content on a console, without the need for glasses – a bit like an improved version of the 3DS.

It's likely this patent is connected to the previous Sony patent for eye-tracking. Either way, it looks like Sony has quite a few tricks up its sleeve for its next-generation hardware.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.