Samsung Galaxy phones set to project Star Wars-like holograms

Sith just got serious

Samsung Galaxy Star Wars

Samsung is planning something seriously impressive for its next-generation Galaxy handset, if the latest patent filed by the South Korean company is anything to go by.

According to the patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and unearthed by technology blog LetsGoDigital, Samsung is working on the ability to bring Star Wars-like hologram projection that hovers above the screen.

Rumours of a holographic projection from the South Korean company are nothing new, but the fact that Samsung has actually put pen to paper and patented the system lends much more credence to the technology than earlier whispers.

According to the patent filed with the USPTO, the new system will be capable of "projecting a 3D image in the air, through the intervention of light". This will be achieved by an array of micro lenses and a spatial light modulator (SLM), which ensures the hologram pattern is reproduced correctly.

If the technology included in the patent works as described, the projection system will create a three-dimensional hologram that hangs above the smartphone display and can be viewed without the need for 3D glasses.

The new Samsung-built feature looks set to be a natural evolution of the holographic display that first appeared on the Red Hydrogen One launched earlier this year. The latter allows users "look-around" photographs and movies filmed in the new 3D format by tilting the smartphone. Amazon introduced a similar feature with its ill-fated Fire Phone, dubbed Dynamic Perspective.

It's unclear how Samsung would use its three-dimensional projections above the smartphone, but developers would undoubtedly need to update their applications to support the new feature.

With any luck, the South Korean firm will finish the newly-patented technology soon. 

Unfortunately, there is no rumour of three-dimensional projections shipping with the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus when these new flagship smartphones launch early next year. So, here's hoping for the Galaxy S11, eh?