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Scientists Claim Breakthrough On Holographic Display 123

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rampant-optimism dept.
SpuriousLogic writes to tell us that University of Arizona researchers claim to have broken a barrier in holographic technology by creating an updatable, three-dimensional display with memory. While the existing model is only able to update once every couple of minutes, and isn't particularly suited for 3d images, it is certainly a step in the right direction. "Peyghambarian is also optimistic that the technology could reach the market within five to ten years. He said progress towards a final product should be made much more quickly now that a rewriting method had been found. However, it is fair to say not everyone is as positive about this prospect as Peyghambarian. Lecturer in Electronic Engineering at Bangor University in Wales, Dr Justin Lawrence, told CNN small steps were always being made on technology like 3D holograms, but, he couldn't see it being ready for the market in the next ten years."
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Scientists Claim Breakthrough On Holographic Display

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  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:31PM (#25277139) Journal
    Another revolutionary technology that will be adopted first by the porn industry.
    • I saw it on Star Trek, it must be true!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        huzza! an olographic tv! only with still images. oh, and not in 3d! we have those here, we call them photoframes
  • When will I be able to have a FREE holographic lap dance?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gapagos (1264716)

      You know.... a real lap dance would probably cost less than that holographic machine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by areusche (1297613)

        But if you use the machine about 5,000 times would the cost of 5,000 lap dances be a lot less then the holographic machine?

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)
          Not to mention you a machine won't smack you for roughing up the suspect.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by gapagos (1264716)

            That's like saying you'd rather play Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed instead of driving a real Porsche because you don't risk getting a speeding ticket.

            I know we were lacking a car analogy somewhere.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Locke2005 (849178)
              You've gotta admit, smashing into things in VR is a lot more enjoyable than smashing into things in real life. Or will the next release of NFS require you to spend several hours arguing with police, getting repair estimates, and submitting an insurance claim every time you have an accident?
              • by Spatial (1235392)

                Or will the next release of NFS require you to spend several hours arguing with police, getting repair estimates, and submitting an insurance claim every time you have an accident?

                Nah. SecuROM handles that part.

      • by tyrione (134248)

        You know.... a real lap dance would probably cost less than that holographic machine.

        I'm pretty sure the parent is inferring a clothes off experience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:32PM (#25277169)

    Other than that small issue, sounds like a winner.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    five to ten years.
    -> hot air

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:33PM (#25277185) Homepage Journal
    It can only update every couple of minutes? Not to worry, Lucas will stretch out Episode XXIV accordingly.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Updating every couple of minutes is still plenty of time for 3d porn.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ah, I could finish before the update

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      It can only update every couple of minutes? Not to worry, Lucas will stretch out Episode XXIV accordingly.

      And don't forget about the Episode I remake. It may actually be more watchable that round, giving us time to mentally recover between the frames of Jar-Jar.

  • actually I'm waiting for the pc market...I want to walk around through the world of warcraft and stab noobs in a upclose and personal way.
  • Dude (Score:5, Funny)

    by Corpuscavernosa (996139) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:36PM (#25277215)
    R2-D2 had this shit down a long time ago.
  • Who? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cutie Pi (588366) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:36PM (#25277227)

    Who is this Dr. Justin Lawrence and why is he being cited as the authoritative naysayer for this technology? He doesn't seem to have any reasons to be unimpressed other than this cliche:

    "It's one thing to demonstrate something in a lab but it's another thing to be able to produce it cheaply and efficiently enough to distribute it to the mass market," Lawrence said.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.eng.bangor.ac.uk/Staff/justin_lawrence.php

      http://arrow.dit.ie/scienmas/30/

      Anyone who has successfully published a peer-reviewed doctoral dissertation on "optical amplification and lasing in conjugated polymers and novel semiconducting dendrimers and fabrication of wavelength scale microstructure by soft lithography" has my complete respect.

      • Anyone that can recite that title from memory would have mine. Clearly another case of me understanding many of those words individually, and then 15 minutes or combining them into a coherent mental image.

        Okay, maybe 15 more minutes...
      • by john83 (923470)

        In short, he's an expert on holographic materials. So, yeah, he knows what he's talking about. Disclaimer: His old PhD supervisor is my current one, but I don't know him.

        Holographic display technology is a long way away from going into TVs. There's a lot of active research on it, as well as on holographic data storage (there's an obvious overlap), which is actually commercially available (c.f. Inphase [inphase-technologies.com]), though it hasn't much market share yet.

  • by Z34107 (925136) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:36PM (#25277235)

    If it can only refresh every few minutes, it'd be perfect for airing CSPAN, right? I mean, it's not like Congress moves very fast - you really don't need a refresh rate measured in Hz.

    And if they got it in 3D... It'd be just like you're there!

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:40PM (#25277253) Journal

      > And if they got it in 3D... It'd be just like you're there!

      But why would you want to be?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Z34107 (925136)

        And i'ts attitudes like that that'll keep this technology from taking off!

        • And people from understanding their Government
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by peragrin (659227)

            you can't understand the government until you become a member of the government. And the first rule of government is to not talk about how the government works.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      It would be great for things that are supposed to be slow, like glacial movements, or static, like 3D building plans.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm stoked for the Grass Growing channel.
      • Finally something in my arena! I am a designer for a company that uses 3d CAD software for designing our homes. And having worked with very complex 3d wireframes I think a system like this would have little use beyond being a showcase for our already created 3d models. Even if the display were capable of 3d it would add another layer of calculations to a process which already strains our hardware. In short, I'll check back in 15 years to see if its done yet. Bah, its been too long since lunch, my blood
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      If it can only refresh every few minutes, it'd be perfect for airing CSPAN, right?

      Congress will ban it as the 2-D left-right paradigm suits their purposes quite well.

    • Finally a cure for my insomnia!
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:45PM (#25277315)
    They had live TV, but small images. Unfortunately the head investigator Steve Benten died a few years ago.
    • So.. just use spheres for the heads.

    • by randyest (589159)
      Link? More info? Who was broadcasting holographic images to allow "live TV?" And how would the "lead investigator's" death stop anything (did you mean "researcher?") -- This isn't Japan where people store all the key data in their brains and refuse to write things down. Surely he left notes, no?
    • HoloTV? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Animaether (411575) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:16PM (#25277647) Journal

      "HoloTV" conjures up images of...

      - a display much like holograms, but instead with fully moving images (and I don't mean the ones that have moving images when you change the viewing angle)
      - a holodeck, but confined to the 'space' of a TV.

      Benton et al (mostly et al) did great work, but...
      http://people.csail.mit.edu/wojciech/3DTV/index.html [mit.edu] ...it is neither of the above.

      A lenticular display is cool, but still depends a lot on the viewing angle, very precise registration, etc.

      True '3D TV' is quite a long ways out as of yet.. there are plenty of existing and research methods, but all of them have their caveats that make them nowhere near '3D TV' a la "everything actually looks 3D, from any angle, without special glasses required, and without the surfaces appearing translucent, and with no more extreme requirements than a very high-end regular TV now".

      red/blue | red/green methods - no color accuracy, need glasses, not actually 3D (fixed viewpoint)
      chromadepth - no color accuracy, need glasses, not actually 3D (fixed viewpoint)
      shutter glasses - need glasses (dur), not actually 3D (fixed viewpoint)
      polarization - need glasses, not actually 3D (fixed viewpoint)

      VR glasses - need the big VR goggles.

      Lenticular displays - limited viewing angles, not actually 3D (multiple fixed viewpoints - typically on the horizontal plane, MIT's work has the vertical plane covered a bit as well)

      Tracking displays - limited viewing angles and, moreover, limited number of viewers (just one.. the person being tracked. Also not really 3D (fixed viewpoints, but with greater 'fluidity' between viewing angles; no actual depth cues (could be combined with a 'glasses' method to overcome this limitation, however). In theory extensible to spherical displays to provide a - albeit awkward - free-viewpoint display).

      Collated displays / array of displays - expensive, limited viewing angles (not as limited as lenticular, but if you look at the side of the array of displays, you're not going to see a whole lot), surfaces appear translucent, color inaccurate the deeper 'in' you look.

      Spinning surface displays (in various forms) - noisy (even with the spinning surface encased and usually vacuum-sealed; for resistance purposes as well), flickery, surfaces tend to appear translucent although some level of opacity can be attained.

      Making the air explode in gorgeous bursts of luminosity - loud. very, very loud.. zero color, not even greyscale; presuming technique perfected to at least allow greyscale (minor vs major bursts, or frequency bursts), surfaces will still appear translucent.

      Of all of the above, Lenticular displays are the most commercially successful *right now*, and they're still not mainstream; that might change as more and more 3D movies come out and they start getting stuck on Blu-Ray/whatever, though.

      I get the feeling I missed one, but it's likely to have some of the other usual drawbacks.

      Overall, VR goggles give the best experience as long as the content is actually 3D.. but people don't like wearing even the little polarized glasses, nevermind a VR headset.

      --

      On top of that, though... shooting a movie in a stereoscopic format (glasses) is difficult enough; a lot of movie shots only really 'work' from a single angle - think one actor punching another... move a little right/left and it becomes a lot easier to tell that the guy never actually hit him; gets worse when you add in the original viewing angle and you get full 3D depth cues. That's not to mention any effects that have to get replicated in stereo (double the work; easy if it's a 3D feature film, not so easy if it's live-action and some poor artist has to rotoscope an actor's hair not once, but twice, and with stereoscopic cohesion.
      And that's just stereo.. that's not even the common concept of 3D (cameras all around), nevermind full 3D (being able to look all the way around, instead of just orbiting the scene of interest).

      No.. it'll be a long, long while more before 'HoloTV' is something we can all talk about the way we did about flatscreen TVs several years back.

    • Link to info about this please.
  • DNF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:49PM (#25277367) Journal
    Is this the technology that 3D Realms has been waiting for by delaying Duke Nukem Forever by this long? When it finally does come out, it's going to be awesome!!!!
    • by Karellen (104380)

      I thought the problem was that DNF is on track to be nearly ready in 5-10 years. When this goes commercial, they'll have to go back and switch engines *again*!

  • AGAIN!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:52PM (#25277399) Homepage
    ANOTHER breakthrough!? I'm thrilled!
    seriously, how often have we read about holo-TV breakthroughs within the last - say - 15 years?
    I stopped believing, although I'd love such technology...
  • sweet (Score:5, Funny)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:58PM (#25277463)

    thats about 0.0056 frames per second

    still better than crysis on my rig

  • Maybe it is just me, but sketpress releases like this are hardly news. Think of every breakthrough you've read about on Slashdot that was supposedly going to be a product in 5 or 10 years. ...

  • I love the comment that this kind of display is not suited for a 3D image. In other words, all this will do is allow you to see a flat image from any side of it. Uh, make a box with 4 monitors and call it quits. Save a few million in development costs.
  • Old news (Score:4, Informative)

    by jonsmirl (114798) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:27PM (#25277763) Homepage

    This news is from February.

    More detail here...
    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb08/5995 [ieee.org]

    • I don't think this exactly the same technology and idea. This article seems to appear to focus more on reusable holographic devices and not aimed at fast refreshing TV/movies. However this technology, if advance can used for TV/movies but as it is is replacement for existing film based holographic.

  • by JackassJedi (1263412) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:28PM (#25277781)
    " Lecturer in Electronic Engineering at Bangor University in Wales, Dr Justin Lawrence, told CNN small steps were always being made on technology like 3D holograms, but, he couldn't see it being ready for the market in the next ten years."

    That guy is a prick and a true disbeliever.

    I think it has been widely misunderstood what exactly this breakthrough is. It is not yet another display with a fast-rotating spiral in the center, or a box filled with smoke and crossing beams form a 3D picture.

    No. What this is, is basically a "normal" hologram, the kind you have as small stickers on CCs or (ugh) EULAs, or the kind you hang on your wall if you're so inclined, just erasable. It's basically the CD-RW of holograms. With that technology, if they can 'erase' and 'write' images fast enough (fast enough for let's say 25fps), we finally can have a holographic display.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trogre (513942)

      You mean those crappy monochrome pictures you see in art galleries that you need to be looking at 100% square on to get anything other than horrible distortions?

      Look, I think holograms are cool and all, just like I did back in the '80s when they were the next big thing. And they don't seem to have improved much since.

      • They have improved, though - they haven't been limited to a monochromatic display for many years now, they can include animation, etc.

        e.g. http://www.rabbitholes.com/ [rabbitholes.com]

        They're not 3D TV or Holographic TV, however :)

    • by hurfy (735314)

      I'll side with skeptical for now too.

      Currently it is 4" square, monochrome, several minutes to draw and erase is a separate step.

      To even get 3 colors, he is looking for a material that will produce the other 2 colors. I wonder if the resolution drops by a factor 3 then...anyone remember CGA graphics

      Can you make a polymer with 256 different reactive materials to produce anything resembling a picture? Much less 16.7 million different types of material in a uniform polymer coating....

      Even if it works on a big

  • by RudeIota (1131331) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:38PM (#25277863) Homepage
    It's going to be awesome for my kids, watching 3D movies in our fusion-powered, flying family sedan running a light-weight, modular version of Windows.

    And once I get home, I'll fire up my commercially viable Linux desktop and look at watch Netflix streaming Netflix movies, eating some Taco Bell (It will be the only "restaurant" left after the earthquake)
  • by seeker_1us (1203072) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:54PM (#25278029)
    The display is only half the problem for a holographic "TV." You also have to have a holographic "camera", and those are not easy, especially since they require LASER light. I can't see it being safe for humans to "film" them with three lasers simultaneously (you need Red, Green, and Blue) that are intense enough to create the interferograms with enough contrast and to override background light.
    • But why do all the actors have their eyes closed

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by quincunx55555 (969721)
      Easy, use CG characters.
    • It's also possible to create "holographic stereograms" using a series of cameras, or a single fast moving camera. In practice, a well made holographic stereogram is indistinguisible from a genuine hologram (except that there's no vertical parallax). I don't know if this is the technique they're planning, but it may be possible to do it this way.
    • by TheSync (5291)

      You also have to have a holographic "camera", and those are not easy, especially since they require LASER light.

      A computer-generated hologram can be built from any 3D mathematical model. The 3D model could be built from from interpolating parallax from stereoscopic image capture.

      Practical computer-generated hologram displays will probably be much "simpler" than analog film holograms (fewer virtual views per degree, no horizontal parallax, etc.)

  • ...because this is the first "holography" article in mainstraim media I've ever seen that appears to actually have to do with holography (as opposed to 90% of cases which are Pepper's ghost [wikipedia.org] and the remaining 9.99% of cases which are just crackpots). Bottom line: holograms aren't projections. They're no magic Star Wars Princess Leia hologram, accomplishing that would require a photon to fly off in one direction and then change direction by itself at some point. And they don't like doing that so much. So I d
  • The root of his (Peyghambarian) last name is "Prophet" in honor of the Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam.

  • The people don't look small when they're in your 2D TV, but with a holo-TV, they will look like tiny dolls in a dollhouse.

    Useful for some things, but not TV.
  • I distinctly remember sitting in my 4th grade classroom, in 1970, and listening to the teacher read an article to the class, telling us about "the future".

    One of the breaking news items was that scientists were working on making televisions that could "hang on a wall like a picture frame", and we would see it homes within 5 to 10 years.

    I won't hold my breath on this holographic TV thing. I don't even think I'll bite on the "within our lifetime" bait at the start of the article.

    • One of the breaking news items was that scientists were working on making televisions that could "hang on a wall like a picture frame", and we would see it homes within 5 to 10 years.

      So he was off by a few decades. Happens to the best of us. Visions of the future don't always show a calendar, you know.

      • by jcjewell (675426)

        So he was off by a few decades. Happens to the best of us. Visions of the future don't always show a calendar, you know.

        True, if they were indeed, just visions. But I assumed when the person predicting invoked a range of "5 to 10 years", that he was, indeed, putting an outside limit on the project.

        Interestingly enough, I saw the same thing on the news about 10 years later and remembered that day in class, so many years before. At the time, television was a big part of my life, and I was looking forward to that milestone. Ironically, now I couldn't care much less.

        My point is, sometimes people just spout off a big number of

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      New theorem:

      Any technological advance will not arrive until at least an amount of time greater than or equal to the square of the precision of the rough estimate has passed.

  • You tune in to a set of coordinates.
  • love our television, and for no good reason. im already bombarded by about 8 minutes of commercial breaks during movies and such. product placement has me all but convinced proctor and gamble and ford solve mysteries on CSI. my dvd's and blu ray wont let me skip ads for tv shows and the absolutely insulting "dont steal a car" crap. Even the Tivo has been taught to hurl ads at me mercilessly. can i pay my way out of it? no, that just means a cable or satellite provider get to kill me with service orien
  • They aren't even close. 3D Holo G is being experimented upon in many places, so there may be a real breakthrough, perhaps by next year, even. This sounds like they're only seeking investors (like government grants) with such a lame article like this. They take the grants, and pretend to always be on the cusp of great achievement, always close to breakthrough, etc. They end up at the pub, or on a date with an associate(s), spending part of the money, writing it off as research expenses, bragging how impo

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