Mobile phones could be able to emit holograms after a US company created a projector small enough to fit into the device.
A prototype the size of a Tic-Tac is bringing science fiction to life with an image that in tests has been smooth and consistent.
The company behind it says that phones will have the same capabilities as R2-D2 in Star Wars when the robot emits a hologram of Princess Leia.
The technology could also be used on TVs, computer screens, smart watches and even tablets.
The chip has been developed by California-based Ostendo Technologies Inc which has spent nine years working on it.
It will start selling a 2D version of its high-res projector next year, with the hologram-projecting one set to launch in 2016.
The company’s chief executive Hussein El-Ghoroury said: ‘Imagine if everything coming back to you was in 3D; all of your shopping, all of your gaming, every way you retrieve data’.
The Ostendo Quantum Photonic Imager is an image processor with thin micro light-emitting diodes and software which renders the image properly.
It consists of six chips laid together that so far can emit a 3D image of green dice into the air.
Ostendo is being financed by £60million from venture capital firms and Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first outside investor.
It has also been awarded around £25million by the US government’s futuristic Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Holograms have recently been used to resurrect dead pop stars such as Michael Jackson, who stunned the crowd when he ‘performed’ at the Billboard Awards earlier this year.
Rapper Tupac Shakur has also been resurrected and a hologram of him has appeared at a number of concerts including the Coachella festival in 2012.
Holographic devices have been around in some form or another since the 19th Century but only now has the technology been cheap enough for them to be considered for large scale production.
Microsoft is working on its own virtual reality room and Facebook recently bought Oculus for £1.2billion.
The technology firm has developed a headset that puts the user in a 3D environment akin to the 1992 science fiction drama The Lawnmower Man.