Swave achieves world-first true color holographic display with nano-pixel spatial color

Swave Photonics, the true holographic display company, demonstrated a prototype of the first true color 3D holographic display technology using phase change materials. Using chip-based Holographic eXtended Reality (HXR) technology, the prototype uses the world’s smallest pixel to steer light and sculpt high-resolution images for full spatial color. Swave delivers full spatial color by arranging color filters in a specific pattern on a single panel eliminating the need for three panels or fast switching speeds.

Full spatial color advantages include reduced visual artifacts, longer battery life and a more natural visual experience. The milestone demonstrates the emerging display technology’s progress toward AI-powered spatial computing with a reality-first user experience.

Spatial color versus current color displays

Swave’s spatial color approach allows the human eye to perceive images naturally and is easier for the brain to process. It divides the panel into subpixel color regions with a unique pattern that is designed to simultaneously eliminate eye motion artifacts and optimize static image quality with a pixel pitch of less than 300nm.

Traditional displays currently utilize either three panels or time sequential approaches to form images in full color. Three panel displays are expensive and bulky, and it is difficult to maintain optical alignment. Time sequential displays flash sequences of red, green and blue in succession to give the impression of full color. This requires a rapid frame rate and increases power consumption.

“Swave’s early stage prototype holographic images were monochrome, allowing us to demonstrate proof of concept on this breakthrough technology,” said Mike Noonen, CEO of Swave. “The next step of developing HXR in full color is extremely challenging. Many technologies trick the human brain to form colors by rapidly sequencing different colors. Achieving simultaneous color brings us one step closer to recognizing the vision of reality-first augmented reality (AR) informed by AI in a compact form factor.”

Color HXR for compact smartglasses

The first application for Swave’s color HXR display technology will be energy efficient and lightweight smartglasses. Spatial color is advantageous for both indoor and outdoor use, making it the ideal color display for everyday wear.

“Swave is reinventing the way that color is shown and seen on a display,” said Edward Buckley, vice president of augmented reality solutions at Swave. “By employing a spatial color approach, Swave is able to provide a clear path towards all-day wearable, consumer grade AR. Swave’s holographic AR display is the only one which is matched to human vision and perception, making it easier on the eyes and brain while providing significant size, cost and power benefits.”

Swave demonstrated the technology at ITF World on May 21-22, 2024. Imec’s ITF World brings together semiconductor and deep-tech leaders for advancements in health, pharma, automotive, AI, and other application domains.