Groundbreaking tech could lead to realistic holograms in regular eyeglass lenses

June 11, 2024 | by

Scientists have created a new device small enough to fit inside of a regular pair of glasses. This new design could help solve one of the primary issues surrounding the use of holographic displays by using hologram lenses to deliver the most realistic holograms ever.

Typically, we rely on devices we call spatial light modulators (SLMs) to create holograms. SLMs essentially change the shape of the light waves going through them at a specific distance, creating the 3D-like surface that holograms rely on. However, because most SLMs are built from liquid crystal/silicon (LCoS) display tech, the current state of hologram technology is very limited—mostly to flat screens and smaller viewing areas.

Ray-Ban | Meta Smart Glasses
Perhaps future versions of the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses could incorporate this new hologram tech. Image source: Meta

This means that the viewer has to be positioned inside of a very narrow viewing angle. If they are placed outside of that viewing angle, then the light from the SLM becomes invisible due to diffraction. With hologram lenses, though, this wouldn’t be an issue. That’s because the field of light is directly in front of the viewer, no matter where they look. Because of this, the light never vanishes.

And, because they can make the devices as small as the lenses in regular eyeglasses, they don’t require bulky VR headsets. This could allow more widespread usage of applications where holograms are used—such as in VR and AR displays—by making the devices that utilize those experiences lighter and thinner. Imagine an Apple Vision Pro that just looks like a pair of regular eyeglasses.

This new research and discovery brings us one step closer to creating full-blown realistic holograms. Something that many have believed could be too far out of our technological reach for many years to come. Sure, it isn’t likely we’ll see hologram lenses on the shelf within the next year.

But, if the new study in Nature Communications is to be believed, the tech could expand exponentially in the next decade. And with that, the dream that 6G could make holographic communications possible will be one step closer to becoming a reality.


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