Holographic mobile handsets capable of projecting, capturing and sending 3D images have been developed by an Indian tech company.
By 2010 the devices will routinely beam 3D films, games and virtual goods into our laps according to Indian technology giant Infosys, which has patented the handset.
The portable machines will capture and send 3D snapshots of the surrounding world, helping accident investigators, teachers and doctors work remotely by instantly relaying realistic depictions of car damage, injuries, medical scans or educational aids.
The powerful onboard processor on the Infosys machine would build a series of 2D shots taken, for example, from a digital camera, into 3D holograms using algorithms called 'Fourier' transformations to calculate the extra third dimension.
The patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, says this allows complex 3D holographic images to be squeezed through the narrow pipes of existing communications networks, by sending only the unprocessed data to be translated into the 3D hologram at the other end.
Infosys's device will be able to both send and receive these 3D images, displaying them using a projector with a laser source and micro holographic optical elements lenses.
The global 3D screen market is forecast by industry to grow to 8.1 million units by 2010.
A spokeswoman for Infosys said: "Holographic handsets have the capability of enriching the user experience, with an actual 3D experience and higher-quality images. This gives users a more realistic experience in areas like gaming, medicine, movies etc."
She said the technology would enable 3D images to be displayed without losing resolution, something that is not possible using current 3D technology, such as stereoscopic displays.