Videochat is cool enough, but it's got nothing on R2D2's 3-D holographic projector (think Princess Leia repeating "Help me Obi-wan Kenobi; you're my only hope"). Now, a team at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences is brining holographic telepresence closer to reality with a new 3-D holographic imaging technology that can record and project a three-dimensional, moving image in real-time without the need for any special eyewear.
Holographic projection tech has been capable of projections static images for awhile now, but the ability to create moving, updating images that essentially function like holographic video has eluded researchers until now. That dynamic updating capability means, ostensibly, that holographic telepresence could be recorded in one location and projected anywhere in the world, live.
The technology isn't quite to that point yet, but it's getting much closer. The prototype device developed at U. of Arizona uses a 10-inch screen constructed of a novel photorefractive material that can refresh a hologram every two seconds. That's not real-time, but it's a remarkable improvement on a technology that was previously static. And naturally it's getting better all the time. The team has already successfully tested a 17-inch screen, and the next logical step will be to increase the refresh rate.
Rather than relying on processor intensive computer-generated holograms, the tech uses an array of regular cameras to capture a person or object in 3-D and then encodes that data into a fast-pulse laser, which interferes with a second laser beam to create an interference pattern. That pattern is written into the polymer to create the image. Each pulse of laser records a "hogel," or holographic 3-D pixel. That hogel data can be beamed elsewhere and reconstructed into a holographic image remotely.
It's not hard to imagine the various telepresence applications of such technology. Aside from the obvious ability to conduct presentations or lectures remotely via hologram, it could drastically change distance learning for hands-on procedures like surgery. And who knows? In a pinch it might just help you put out an interplanetary S.O.S.
But it's still inside a box? Awesome development, but I doubt we'll see any tech companies picking this up until it can be projected outside the box, in full real time.
I'm surprised there aren't alot more people in this field of research. Hologram devices are a major investment in money. The uses for such devices are vast. Teachers wouldn't have to go to school to teach, conferences could be made without having to leave your house, communication could consist of holograms live, and much much more. These feats could be possible in no time if more people got into this field and realized the potential with these sorts of technologies!
Why can't we have a cube of transparent material, with light-capturing/reflecting micro-structures that would capture converging lasers fired from the three spatial dimensions, one for red/blue/green, combining in the micro-structures into whatever color was needed for that point of the image? I guess it wouldn't even need to be a cube, even the thinnest materials still are 3-dimensional, so a plate of glass seems feasible...
Projected in mid-air? Light needs to be reflected off of something to be seen, is there enough material in 'air' to do that?
Didn't you answer your own question in:
"I'm surprised there aren't alot more people in this field of research. Hologram devices are a major investment in money."
"major investment in money" (Not to mention skill).
When they make it working fast enough (about 30 frames per second) and if it can also be made full color then it could replace all TV's!
There is also another device being developed which can create 3d images directly in mid-air here:
Recommendation: Explore aerogels as a display substrate.
Apps: Submarine trench navigation display (USSV/Virginia).
... Various forms of dynamic spacial tomography ... Google Earth Display(RT) ... Theater air defense displays ...
... Surgical endoscopic virtualization, with augmented multimedia annotations. ... (Minority Report).
Anywhere that experts must collaborate on a space or a model. ... Anywhere that other/cheaper 3D displays won't do.
I keep flashing to a WWII war room where generals aids are pushing toy tanks around, within a REAL *AND* VIRTUAL, hybrid battlespace.
Bring the tactical theater into the board-room ... OR ... Bring the board-room into the battle-space. .. "HQ".
Awesome. Now let the Japanese run with this so we can watch the World Cup in 2022 from any field in the world with the players projected holographically.
@tcolguin: when I said major investment in money, I meant to say that if you invested in it, there would be alot of money to be made. It would also require alot of skill too, but that is what college is for, and college is worth the time, unless you have some uncommon type of plan that still usually requires alot of work and planning.
Sorry, but where is the video ? I don't see any animation. All I see is a conventional hologram. And if this is a video, where is the flickering ? A video camera recording this is at 30Hz, the article claims 50Hz, there should be a slight flicker in this so called holographic video.