Researchers at King's College London and the University of Bonn have developed a coating that makes objects look like 3D shapes.
While holograms require a laser, the scientists' coating - the metasurface - merely manipulates the reflection of ordinary light. The 3D effect occurs in almost any lighting condition.
The ability to control light opens the door to the next generation of televisions and compact lenses. In particular, metasurfaces will find use in smartphone camera lenses, replacing complex curved lenses.
Metasurfaces may eventually replace heavy optical lenses on satellites. They can become the basis for a unique 3D security system for detecting counterfeit products. Anatoly Zayats, professor at King's College London, spoke about the significance of the novelty:
“Metasurfaces open up new possibilities for controlling and manipulating light. Imagine a TV screen that creates a circular image or completely new types of art based on 3D technology. "