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Holographic HUDs Could Go Into Wing Mirrors

Are science fiction movies becoming less imaginative, or has technology caught up with our imagination? That's the question that was asked after stumbling upon this report from Technology Review, indicating that holographic heads-up displays (HUDs) could migrate into wing and rear-view mirrors of our automobiles in the near future.

Currently HUDs are installed in several high-end cars. The technology overlays information on a normal view of the road and generally require large liquid-crystal arrays and objects to generate the image. Typically, these HUDs convey the car's current speed, the distance to the vehicle driving ahead, and more information, keeping the driver's eyes on the road.

Light Blue Optics, based in Cambridge, UK, has developed a new projection device that's one-tenth the size of current HUD projectors and uses holographic projection. The current prototype projects an image through a two-way wing mirror, and is superimposed over the reflected road scene. The holographic objects appear to be 2.5 meters away, fitting into the scene in the correct perspective.

Edward Buckley, Light Blue Optics's head of business development, said that the technology doesn't actually generate holograms, but instead relies on the "principals of holography" to create a projected image. He also added that the technology could easily work on an automobile's windshield. Currently the company is in discussions with several manufacturers.