Imagine having a 3D display where lighting, viewing angles and distances from the screen were not a concern. HP's Photon technology is a 3D display that remedies all of these issues, and theoretically scales to any size screen you like.

The Photon display technology I saw was a rear-projection setup that was implemented using an array of off-the-shelf components: four projectors, a screen and a computer were the main hardware devices at play. HP was hesitant to speak too much on what powers their Photon displays, but say that the real magic of the technology comes in the proprietary software that coordinates all the different components.

According to HP's Chris Willis, the technology can scale to a screen of virtually any size, provide you have enough computers and projectors to power the display. After slipping on a pair of 3D glasses, I was able to walk around the display from nearly any point in the room—a very bright, naturally lit room, mind you—and observe little-to-no change in the 3D effect. The figure in the picture not only felt removed from the background, but even the clothes she was wearing had a sense of depth.


Willis says that that this technology is currently targeted at retail and marketing customers, but will have a variety of uses in the future. One such application of the technology will be for logistical command rooms, where someone could manipulate and sift through huge amounts of information in a 3D space. It's also not outside the realm of possibilities for us all to someday have 3D video walls in our homes someday. But I think I need one like now. [HP Labs]