Holographic displays, the likes of which have been seen in science fiction as far back as Star Trek, could become a staple of our technologies in the near future.

The use of holographic technology has never garnered mainstream interest, likely as a result of the lack of practical applications. This could change, however, if major device and content makers begin adopting the technology.

Currently, people can only really experience holographic images through augmented reality environments. For example, putting on the MetaPro glasses enables the user to place virtual 3D models in the environment around them, and even use a virtual computer.

Mainstream adoption of holographic technologies would likely come from moving the technology out of the augmented reality realm, and into the real world. Having a holographic technology able to be manipulated and moved around without the need for a headset or glasses would open up the applications.

Education institutions could use the technology to demonstrate concepts or designs, and businesses could conduct video conferencing with 3D images.

Apple has recently filed a patent with the US patent office for holographic cellphone screens, capable of projecting a 3D image above the surface of the device. Using a number of lasers, infrared sensors and parabolic mirror assemblies, the phone would be capable of providing a new form of device interaction.

Amazon is also planning the sale of a holographic smartphone, according to The Wall Street journal. The device would use sensors placed on the front of the device to make images appear 3D without the need for glasses.

If a large developer were to deploy a holographic technology in a popular smart phone or similar device, other manufacturers and developers would likely follow. Certainly, there are opportunities for holographic technologies that go beyond the realm of science fiction.

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