Apple patent involves displays with ‘holographic adjustments’

About four years ago, Ben Kunz writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, predicted that Apple devices will someday project holograms "like you’ve never seen." Sounds a bit out-there, right? But Kunz could have been onto something. 

In 2016, Apple patented a three-dimensional display system that would “mimic a hologram” without requiring special glasses. The patent notes that one current market gap in screen technology is the ability of a device to project stereoscopic 3D images to multiple viewers at the same time.

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Today Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180321432) for a “display with holographic angle-of-view adjustment structures.” It involves screens on which each pixel may have a light-emitting diode such as an organic light-emitting diode or may be formed from other pixel structures such as liquid crystal display pixel structures. 

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A display may have an array of pixels. Each pixel may have a light-emitting diode such as an organic light-emitting diode or may be formed from other pixel structures such as liquid crystal display pixel structures. The pixels may emit light such as red, green, and blue light. An angle-of-view adjustment layer may overlap the array of pixels. During operation, light from the pixels passes through the angle-of-view adjustment layer to a user. 

“The viewing angle for the user is enhanced as the angular spread of the emitted light from the pixels is enhanced by the angle-of-view adjustment layer. The angle-of-view adjustment layer may be formed from holographic structures recorded by applying laser beams to a photosensitive layer or may be formed from a metasurface that is created by patterning nanostructures on the display using printing, photolithography, or other patterning techniques.”

Today Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.