Samsung Files Patent for Interactive 3-D Display Tech

Mike Wheatley

Samsung is apparently working on an innovative new 3-D display technology that can connect to users’ smartphones and tablets.


The company is said to have filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the display, which also incorporates a three dimensional user interface, LetsGoDigital reported.

The patent describes how the display can be connected to a smartphone or tablet, which can then be used to forward content to it and control various menus. The idea is that content can be displayed in 3-D, with touch controls being used to view it from different angles.

“For example, if the user is on a call, the screen can show the person that they are currently speaking to at the moment and the display can also be used to control the playback of music files that the user forwarded from their handsets,” the patent application explains.

Users would also be able to take photographs of real world objects and scan these in order to see a 3-D virtual representation of it, similar to what was done in the classic movie Tron.

Samsung’s patent further describes a 3-D user interface that would allow users to interact with the display either by using a stylus pen or simple touch controls. The display can also be equipped with sensors that would detect the user’s contact with the virtual objects, using either infrared radiation or ultrasound waves.


Patents such as this one do not always result in commercial products, but this one clearly does have some potential. For example, Samsung could possibly integrate the technology in its TVs, allowing users to interact with them using hand gestures. The 3-D display could also have applications in retail, allowing customers in a shop to interact with virtual products, for example.

Last year, Samsung filed a seemingly related patent application pertaining to holographic technology that uses a series of micro-lenses arrays set on a flat surface. The micro-lenses focus a light beam from the display to project 3-D images into mid-air via a spatial light modulator.

It’s not clear at this time how viable either technology actually is, as Samsung hasn’t demonstrated any working prototype at this time.