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Photopolymer Film for Next-Generation AR Displays

Photopolymer Film for Next-Generation AR Displays

Bayfol HX is used in Sony’s prototype 360-degree holographic display

The Bayfol HX photopolymer film of Covestro helps the R&D of Sony Group Corporation to realize the prototype of a transparent display. This display delivers novel and fascinating visual experiences, as the images holographically generated within it appear to float freely in a transparent cylindrical column. Viewers can walk around the 360-degree display and look at the displayed image from all angles. Since the holographically evoked image is very bright – but the display is transparent at the same time – the image and background merge almost seamlessly. In the spirit of an augmented reality (AR) system, this transparent 360° holographic display expands reality. Because whatever is displayed in it seems to actually be there for the observer. Covestro is presenting this application of Bayfol HX at the K 2022 plastics trade fair, which will be held in Düsseldorf from October 19 to 26.

Bayfol HX consists of a transparent film as a substrate and a photoreactive layer that is optimized for the specific customer requirements. Bayfol HX gives designers the greatest possible design freedom. For example, it is flexible enough to be bent – as in the Sony application – so that it can completely enclose a cylinder. It has tailor-made optical properties to produce high-quality holographic images. Both the very high transparency of the photopolymer film and the image brightness it enables were key factors in Sony’s decision to use Bayfol HX for its development project.

“We spent a long time looking for the right material to realize our idea,” said Sony’s Yutaka Imai. The R&D General manager continues, “The project showed that Bayfol HX has excellent performance for AR applications.” It is imaginable that the prototype display technology will be used, for example, in museum showrooms and corporate presentation rooms – or in the home, for example, to accompany music with 360-degree videos.

“We are pleased that digital image information can now be presented floating in space rather than just presented in a frame, as it were, thanks to Bayfol HX and Sony’s innovative screen concept. In addition to automotive head-up displays (HUD) and head-mounted displays (HMD), this is another extremely promising AR application for our holographic films,” says Yuen-Ling Lok, Head of Commercial Operations Holographic Lightguiding at Covestro.


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