Australian engineers have created a full-colour 3D display, which appears to pop off the screen – basically, a hologram.

Engineers at Swinburne University of Technology used a graphene oxide to create 3D images that are visible from a wide angle with the naked eye.

The team created the floating 3D effect by modifying the refractive index - the amount light that bends on its way through a clear medium - of the graphene oxide.

“If you can change the refractive index you can create lots of optical effects,” researcher Min Gu said.

“Our technique enables the reconstructed floating 3D object to be vividly and naturally viewed in a wide angle up to 52 degrees.

“[The technology] can be leveraged to achieve compact and versatile optical components for controlling light. We can create the wide angle display necessary for mobile phones and tablets.”

Gu and fellow researcher Xiangping Li explain the development of the high-tech system in an article for The Conversation.

The demonstration models created so far can only display images up to 1 centimetre tall, but the researchers say it can easily be scaled-up to mobile phone size, or even larger.

As the scientific world pinches another idea from the world of sci-fi, real-life consumers wait with baited breath to lunge excitedly at the next generation of 3D Snapchats and 360 degree selfies.