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NICT Introduces the World’s First Color Electronic Holography Display System with 15° Viewing-Zone Angle and 4-cm Diagonal Display Size

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September 28, 2010

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed the world’s first electronic holography display system capable of displaying color moving holography images with a viewing-zone angle of 15° and display size of 4-cm diagonal.

By applying an original viewing-zone enlargement technique and ultra-high definition display devices with 33 million pixels, the developed system enabled the moving holography image display to be viewed more easily, by making the viewing-zone angle at least 3 times larger and the display area approximately 2 times larger than the conventional system.

Note that a part of this research and development was undertaken under contract from Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in the “Research and Development on Glasses Free 3D Image Technologies (Next Generation and Ultimate 3D Imaging Technology)” project.


NICT has been conducting researches and developments in ultra-realistic communication technology, which aims to enable individuals separated in time or space to feel like they are sharing the same sensations. As one of key technology, it advances the research of electronic holography as an ideal 3D image system. In principle, holography enables natural and realistic 3D image display without any glasses and visual fatigue, which are issues in current 3D TVs. Therefore it is expected to be the ultimate 3D image technology.

Electronic holography becomes necessary to display moving holography images, while holography can be implemented by photography or printing. However, electronic holography presents many difficult technological challenges. As a result, research in electronic holography has not so much advanced worldwide. The major problems on electronic holography include the narrow viewing-zone angle and small display size.

New Achievements

The display system developed by NICT uses 3 ultra-high definition LCoSs with 33 million pixels and a display size of 4-cm diagonal, as display device. Each of these devices can only reconstruct light in directions within an angle of slightly more than 5°. By using 3 devices to reconstruct rightward light, frontward light, and leftward light, respectively, it can reconstruct light in approximately 3 times the directions by a device. Consequently, a wide viewing-zone angle of 15° horizontally is achieved. The color displaying is implemented using the field-sequential-color method.

Also as the result of using the display devices, the area on which the holography image can be displayed is enlarged to approximately 2 times that of the conventional system. These performances enable an easier-to-view color moving holography display than the conventional system.

Future Plans

The advanced technology of our new color holography display system will contribute to the development of the ultimate 3D TV and ultra-realistic communication of the future. Although the 3D images displayed by our system are still too small while the apparatus is too large, we will further progress our research and development efforts towards realization of the ultimate 3D image display that can reproduce images with precise depth and high image quality, without any glasses and visual fatigue.

The developed system was demonstrated at CEATEC JAPAN 2010, October, and more than 3,000 people enjoyed the images.

Supplementary Information

Holography is an ideal 3D image technology which reconstructs object light as light wave. Electronic holography is technology to implement holography system with electronic means, for display of moving holography images.

Viewing zone angle:
Angle in which 3D image can be observed.

Liquid Crystal on Silicon.

Field-sequential-color method:
A color display method that sequentially displays 3 red holograms on the three display devices together in an instant, 3 green holograms together in the next instant, and 3 blue holograms together in the following instant, repeatedly. In a normal color displaying, red, green, and blue holograms are each displayed simultaneously on the three devices by refreshing the color picture 60 times per second, or with a frame rate of 60Hz. In our field-sequential-color display, the frame rate is 20Hz.

Configuration of the developed color electronic holography display system
Figure 1: Configuration of the developed color electronic holography display system.

A photo of the developed system
Figure 2: A photo of the developed system.

Figure 3: Spatial arrangement of the reconstructed image.
(Earth located at front and right. Moon is at back and left.)

An example of reconstructed image
Figure 4: An example of reconstructed image.

It is clear that the interval between Earth and Moon is varying with observation directions, as the result of correct depth reproduction.

Technical Contact

Dr. Taiichiro Kurita, Dr.Kenji Yamamoto
3D Spatial Image and Sound Group
Universal Media Research Center

Media Contact

Ms. Sachiko HIROTA
Public Relations Office
Strategic Planning Department