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Displays Science Technology

Real-Time Holograms Beam Closer To Reality 79

sciencehabit writes "It's not quite the flickering blue projection of Princess Leia begging, 'Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!' from the classic sci-fi movie Star Wars, but holographic projection has just beamed a bit closer to reality. Researchers in Arizona have devised a novel plastic film that can be used to generate holographic 3D images sent electronically from one location to another. The technology opens the door for everything from holographic surgery to movies that literally surround the viewer."
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Real-Time Holograms Beam Closer To Reality

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  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:28PM (#34116594)

    I wonder if this technology can help further holographic storage. Holographic storage has been hovering at the edges for a while now, and maybe this might be the impetus that drives this mainstream.

    Of course, it wouldn't be memristor fast, nor compete with SSDS, but as a medium to replace tapes or WORM optical storage for low speed, high capacity, it would be ideal, assuming the archival life of bits stored in 3D is up to par.

  • Every 2 seconds? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ambvai ( 1106941 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:31PM (#34116652)

    So this thing updates every 2 seconds [with a 100x one in the works]... compared to typical games running at 30-60 times per second? But another interesting question-- exclusive of processing power, is the refresh rate limited by size, or can it scale up pretty much indefinitely?...and CAN it be large? The image makes it look like it's difficult to maintain.

  • by CCarrot ( 1562079 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:31PM (#34116654)

    Why on earth would I want that? I have a hard enough time taking everything in with 3D movies!

    just think of the gaming about a first person shooter!

  • by CCarrot ( 1562079 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @04:44PM (#34116794)

    True that. Plus, I'd imagine watching this would provide even more headaches/accessibility problems than dear old 3D does it'll probably be relegated to a niche market.

    That being said, way back when not many people expected this whole 'home computing' thing to take off, who knows? If only my time machine weren't on the fritz again...and me fresh out of flux capacitors, too!

  • by CCarrot ( 1562079 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:05PM (#34116990)

    Projecting light onto a plastic film is a LONG way from creating a hologram in the air and it is probably moving in the wrong direction even to try.

    I have to disagree with you there. True, this is not the way to produce a 'true' three-dimensional light construct, at least not the way you or I imagine it, but anything that helps suspend disbelief and brings the environment closer to the user is worth pursuing.

    Just because this needs a solid surface to work from doesn't mean it is without worth. Line a room with these films and *poof*, instant 'teleportation' to wherever you feel like going. Can you imagine the benefits to the mobility challenged? A chance to see the pyramids, dive with the dolphins, or even just have dinner with the grandparents from halfway across the globe?

    (okay, okay, it also brings a new 'dimension' to feelie booths. ick.)

    If they feel they can do something with it, I say fly at 'er!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:19PM (#34117152)

    TFA mentions lasers, interference patterns, and a recording film. sounds like a hologram to me. the multiple-cameras and some number crunching are likely what is used to synthesize the interference pattern. transmitting an unmolested pair of beams from the source to the destination for reconstruction sounds technically infeasible considering the beams would not be point-like.

  • Re:Refresh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:45PM (#34117402)

    Nature article [](reg required)
    Here we use a holographic stereographic technique and a photorefractive polymer material as the recording medium to demonstrate a holographic display that can refresh images every two seconds. A 50Hz nanosecond pulsed laser is used to write the holographic pixels. Multicoloured holographic 3D images are produced by using angular multiplexing, and the full parallax display employs spatial multiplexing. 3D telepresence is demonstrated by taking multiple images from one location and transmitting the information via Ethernet to another location where the hologram is printed with the quasi-real-time dynamic 3D display.

    If you understand any of the above you probably need to spend more time outside.

    ScienceDaily []
    "At the heart of the system is a screen made from a novel photorefractive material, capable of refreshing holograms every two seconds, making it the first to achieve a speed that can be described as quasi-real-time," said Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, an assistant research professor in the UA College of Optical Sciences and lead author of the Nature paper.
    Currently, the telepresence system can present in one color only, but Peyghambarian and his team have already demonstrated multi-color 3D display devices capable of writing images at a faster refresh rate, approaching the smooth transitions of images on a TV screen.

    Sounds like they've still got a way to go before we get Holo-TV.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @06:11PM (#34117688)

    It's going to be a race between real-world porn and 3D-rendered cartoons (hentai). I'd bet on the hentai because rendering puts aside all the technical problems of actually shooting all dimensions at once in real-time, but also because the Japanese already have excellent 3D hentai rendering software.

  • Re:Not a Holograph (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @08:00PM (#34118872) Journal

    That's a special effect you see in movies. It's not real, and there's no real theory for how such a thing could even be made.

    You might want to see the AIST free space plasma display [], as a theory on how such a thing could be made...

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford