When we last looked in on holographic telepresence tech, a University of Arizona team was impressively streaming near-real-time three-dimensional moving images, offering a glimpse of what telepresence could be once researchers iron out the wrinkles. Now, an MIT team is showing off a simplified scheme for streaming holographic video, using a single Xbox Kinect peripheral and standard graphics chips to create the fastest holographic video yet.
There are two significant points to be made up front about the MIT group's Kinect-based holographic TV project. First, where the Arizona team's holographic display could refresh once every two seconds, MIT's scheme is capable of 15 frames per second—close to the 24 fps required for feature films and the 30 fps necessary for television—so its just shy of creating real time holograms that create the illusion of continuous motion.
Moreover, and perhaps more significantly, pretty much all the components for MIT's setup are off-the-shelf. That means holographic telepresence and holographic entertainment may not be too terribly far from reality.
The researchers managed all this by tapping what are known as diffraction fringes to create an object's 3-D shape. When light bounces off of an object, it does so at an infinite number of angles. The MIT team had to create a system that could capture the light intensity of image pixels and their distances from the camera—information that is used to create a diffraction fringe pattern that can bend light in predictable ways—and transmit that data live.
Once the data is transmitted to a computer at the receiving end, a PC with three commercial graphics processing units computes that data into diffraction patterns, which in turn can recreate the image as a hologram that the viewer can view in true 3-D. That is, the viewer can walk around the object and view it from different perspectives. Such live-streaming of holograms doesn't just bring Preincess Leia-like holographic telepresensce a big step closer, but opens the door to holographic television—technology that could bring entertainment into living rooms in a way that surpasses even the best 3-D televisions.
The one component of MIT's system that can't be purchased off-the-shelf at an electronics store is the holographic projector itself, which has been under development at MIT for decades and continues to improve. If researchers there can squeeze a few more frames per second out of their GPU/software setup, that display could fairly easily bring holographic video into the mainstream.
See the system in action in the video below. Unfortunately, the 3-D effect doesn't convert well to 2-D video, so without actually being there the hologram looks more like a blur, a fact that's more than made up for by the Princess-Leia-on- Alderaan costuming.
Refresh rate doesn't seem to be the only thing that needs improvement, here. Color and scanline density look like major issues, as well.
-IMP ;) :)
It's sort of like early video games. It may have started out with a simple pattern of pixels on a screen, but today video game graphics are becoming very nearly life-like.
I expect this will take off in a big way. The ability to view high-resolution 3D video from any angle without peripherals is the holy grail of the couch potato industry.
Verry interesting with color and a little improvement this surely will be the future of tv funny because we are just getting 3d tvs we may take another step to the future and like BSolomon said it does remind me of early videogames im sure it won't be long until the geniuses at MIT make it very nice quality tv
(i believe i spelt geniuses wrong kinda ironic)
First 3 D p r 0 n? Slave Leia in "Star Wh0res: Help Me Obi Long Kinobi"
These aren't the droids you're looking for