For years we have seen holographic technology usually on the screen in science fiction TV shows and movies like Start Trek or Star Wars. Who doesn’t remember the scenes where RD2D is projecting a 3D holographic image of Princess Leia asking Obi Wan Kenobi for a help. In Star Trek we know that they used famed holodeck which had the technology to project many star ships. So when you see that type of technology in Hollywood movies, it looks easy. But, in real world it’s a whole another story. All the attempts usually end up looking as very primitive design. People are experimenting with many different methods, while some were successful others were not. Not long ago, one team from University of Tokyo managed to create first successful touchable holograms. Imagine that you have a hologram of little red ball in front of you, and you can actually interact with it. The ball itself was aware when you were getting near and it would try to bounce back. When this type of technology was announced for the first time it was being compared to computer holographic interface from movie Minority Report.
But right now, people are going even further, there are some stunning breakthroughs and holographic technology is making the news headlines very occasionally. There are new gadgets and devices that can now emit the 3D images in real time. This could have immense benefits in further technologies for telepresence. Imagine that you can make speech from your own living room. You are being projected in a fully 3D high resolution with your complete body being projected over live audience that is thousands of km far away. But that’s not all, there is simply to limits when it comes to this. Researchers from Arizona University had unveiled for the first time, 3D motion hologram in front of a live audience. So, what is this actually different from watching let’s say avatar movie in 3D cinema? Well, for one reason. Glasses. Watchers are this time presented with image that is viewable from every side wearing 3D glasses. They used 16 cameras, creating 3D images with 45 degree. Each of those camera is taking different 360 degrees pictures and the more cameras are in use the better image resolution would be.
I don’t know if you watched but in the past we’ve been presented with Elvis, Michael Jackson and Tupac holograms. But, in reality those were not holograms at all. It’s actually simple trick that in no way has any resemblance with holograms. This trick is old more than 200 years. The key to pulling off something like this is using piece of glass at special angle that is placed between people in audience. Then the stage floor is used for light reflection from actor that is placed below the stage. It is transparent glass and because of this it looks like hologram is hovering over the stage. What I think is really interesting that we will have a chance to see something in 3D model, before we decide to buy it and spend money.
Holographic technology will have an immense impact in many different areas, such as remote guidance, entertainment, technology for 3D mapping, remote video conferences and many other. Like with every new innovation or technology, it will require some time before it’s perfected so it can be brought to the market for general audience, but I think we will not wait for too long.