Hungarian company ‘Holografika’ have announced the first real fruits of their EU funded endeavours to develop a Holo TV – the world’s first 3D holographic display screen has been unveiled at a trade fair this month and will go on sale early next year (2013).
Hungarian holographic specialists Holografika will show IBC visitors a new 30” HoloVizio monitor which uses light-field technology to offer viewers true glasses-free 3D video.
The new 30” HoloVizio 80WLT will be targeted towards the professional markets such as medical and visualisation rather than home entertainment (for now) but it avoids the many limitations of lenticular technology with continuous parallax in the entire field-of-view, allowing people to even look behind objects. There are no sweet spots, invalid zones or repeated views and viewers can be positioned anywhere in front of the display. The full-angle geometrically correct view is achieved through reconstructing all the light beams leaving the holoscreen even under extreme angles in a range up to 180 degrees.
Another team of researchers has demonstrated that the Kinect can be used as the basis of a system to construct 360 degree holograms. The ‘TeleHuman’ uses 6 kinect sensors, a 3D projector, and a cylindrical display, to allow live ‘holographic’ video chat in which the viewer can walk around the cylinder and see the person as he or she really is there.
The Human Media Lab of Queens University Canada say that the TeleHuman could be available on the market for as little as $5,000 within just 5 years.
Australian expert on holographics explains that the recent Tupac ‘live’ hologram was not real holography at all, and actually based on an old stage trick that dates back to the 19th century. However, the expert from Monash University in Melbourne predicts that real holographic video will be mainstream in 10 years or so time, with the only obstacles remaining being the huge bandwidth and computer processing power required.
Holograms are perhaps the last piece of advanced technology that works best on film; they can be made only on extremely fine-grained black-and-white film but, surprisingly, can store full colour information.
Digital camera pixels are ten times too large to record holograms: holo-cameras need a resolution of gigapixels. Even the iPad’s new “high-resolution” display is far too coarse to reconstruct a hologram. As a result, holography remains stuck in the pre-digital doldrums.
It needs another ten years to become a mainstream technology. MIT’s Media Lab has a holographic TV prototype with true parallax and depth (and, of course, no clunky glasses). But it is closer to TV circa 1930 than it is to R2D2’s Princess Leia, delivering coarse, jerky images in laser monochrome.
In a fascinating article on the prospects for 3D entertainment – including Holo TV – in the next decade, Michael Bove of the MIT has declared that inexpenisve desktop holographic displays could be on the market within 5 – 7 years.
This fits in with other expert’s predictions that at least smaller Holographic TVs could be available in the second half of this decade.
Apparently the MIT Media Lab has had holographic video displays (albeit small ones) since 1989 and in the past few years has managed to drive them with off-the-shelf PCs. The latest development, announced earlier in the year, has been to capture imagery in real time. So does that mean that it’s becoming a mainstream technology and that we’ll soon see holographic displays for our PCs and holographic TVs in our living rooms? According to Professor Bove, “there could be a commercial laptop or desktop-sized holographic display … costing not much more than current flat-panel displays in about five to seven years. Larger screens will take longer.
Yet another different research team is pursuing its own route towards a holographic tv, coming ever tantalisingly closer to a working holo-tv. With so many teams achieving breakthroughs with different technologies, surely one will succeed within the next few years in the race to make a consumer holo-tv?
The team from Belgium have come up with an ingenious solution to the problem of a moving hologram – one that involves lasars, mirrors, and nano-technology :
In their nanoscale system, they work with chips made by growing a layer of silicon oxide on to silicon wafer. They etch square patches of the silicon oxide. The result is a checkerboard-like pattern where etched-away pixels are nanometers lower than their neighbors. A reflective aluminum coating tops the chip. When laser light shines on the chip, it bounces off of the boundary between adjacent pixels at an angle. Diffracted light interferes constructively and destructively to create a 3-D picture where small mirrored platforms are moving up and down, many times a second, to create a moving projection. The process can also be described as the pixels closer to the light interfering with it one way and those further off, in another. The small distances between them generate the image that the eye sees.
A BBC R&D white paper reveals that the corporation is investing heavily into the design of Holo-TVs and 3D holographic projection. The BBC are working with a number of comapnies to bring holographic and immersive entertainment into the living room. The plans are so detailed and advanced that work is even being done on creating common coding and transmission protocols for holographic transmissions. Anyone thinking that Holo-TV is still ‘decades away’ will be surprised at the number of organisations that are at an advanced stage of making holographic television are reality.
One of the most interesting projects being part funded by the BBC is 3D VIVANT, also supported by the EU, and which is trying to develop something of a cross between a glasses free 3D TV and a true holographic television.
You can see how advanced their work is from the following YouTube video. The true holographic nature of the still image is apparent even from a 2D video – the image appears to be really projecting out of the screen, quite unlike conventional 3D TVs :
Researchers in Japan have demonstrated the world’s first holographic projection in mid-air. This is the first demonstration of 3D holographic imaging that does not require a screen. The system works by provoking plasma excitation in the air via a lasar.
The frame-rate is currently 10-15 frames per second, but the research team belive that they can soon get this up to 30 fps, the sames as for television and video.
This website will chart the progress of Holo-TV from dream to a reality. Holo-TV – short for Holographic TV – has been anticipated for decades now, and will undoubtedly change how we entertain ourselves at home, watch sport, and even travel and how we communicate with each other.
Holo-TV has long been dreamt of, but finally it appears close to a reality. There have been some tremendous breakthroughs made in the last year alone which leave many experts predicting that real three dimensional holo-tvs could arrive by 2015, with ‘psuedo-holographic’ tv’s in the home before even that.
The CEO of Cisco Systems, John Chambers, has made the bold prophesy that holographic tv will arrive within just 10 years time. Whats notable about this claim is that it is made by somebody who should know what he is talking about. Cisco Systems is the largest supplier of IP networking equipment, and therefore has to keep track of likely future trends regarding bandwidth usage. And Chambers sees bandwidth demands increasing sharply over the next decade, firstly with the growth of 3D TVs, and then with the arrival of true 3D in the form of Holographic TVs and other applications making use of holograms.
“3D will make things more lifelike, ” he said. “But I think in 10 years we’ll be seeing holograms used. Not only can this be used to enhance business communications, but imagine the implications for certain vertical businesses like medicine.”
Verizon Communications Chief Information Officer Shaygan Kheradpir said his company is already working with researchers to bring holographic technologies into homes and small businesses. And the medical industry is one place where he sees a particularly good fit for holograms.
Kheradpir wouldn’t offer specifics of what Verizon is working on with its research partners, but he said that it has been playing around with sending holographic images of someone’s head across its Fios fiber-optic network.
Sony showed the world just how close we are to genuine 3D holographic tvs with the exhibition of their RayModeler 3D display. With this autostereoscopic display (no need for glasses) you can walk around and view the image in 360 degrees. You can even interact with the display via hand gestures. One of the most exciting applications for the new technology will be games. The images are created by LED light sources, thus technically different from usual ‘holographic’ lasar projections.