Researchers at Queen’s University have announced a flexible smartphone featuring a holographic display. Called the HoloFlex, it’s just a prototype for now, but it may hint at things to come for mobile technology.
The device runs on Android 5.1 and features a Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) screen, which renders images into tiny circular blocks that together produce a 3D image visible from a range of angles. Meanwhile, users can literally bend the device, and together with its 3D imaging capability, this allows for objects on the screen to be manipulated in three-dimensional space: In addition to the x- and y-axis touch-based interaction common to all smartphones, users can bend the screen in order to enable z-axis manipulation.
In a statement announcing the device, one of the researchers involved pointed out that it could be used for holographic gaming and 3D video conferencing. Indeed, and with respect to the latter, it’s possible that the technology’s 3D imaging technology could enable even more sophisticated forms of biometric authentication than the selfie-based mobile authentication systems that are starting to emerge today. And with major mobile makers like Apple exploring novel means of 3D device interaction, the HoloFlex researchers could find considerable interest in their technology from the mobile industry.