Samsung have reportedly poured up to $10 million into aiding an Israeli start-up firm develop a 3D holographic technology.
The Israeli firm – Mantis Vision – is working on producing a technology that allows 3D depth recording of moving images. They have already produced a prototype handheld 3D image scanner that can enable a playback of the scene that can be manipulated to view from any angle (see the YouTube video below).
One innovative use of the technology, said the company, is for augmented reality, where the dynamic 3D images captured by the camera are integrated with static 3D backgrounds. With the technology, a game creator could build a 3D gaming environment, allowing individuals to upload images of themselves as avatars, which can then be programmed into the game. In addition, the company said, “in future thinking, we see this camera demo as a great example of how real life capturing of content for Holographic (3D) TV can be accomplished.”
MIT Researcher Michael Bove, widely regarded as one of the handful of people on the planet who could make holographic tv a reality in the next decade, has spoken of the chances of the technology becoming mainstream. In line with the predictions of other experts, Bove claims that holo tv on mobile devices is a near term possibility, but for larger devices it is further out. Other experts have claimed that holographic smartphones could be a reality within the next 5 years, with most still predicting that Holo-TVs themselves are still around a decade away.
Holographic 3D might be possible on mobile devices in the “near future,” though it is further out for large TV displays, according to V. Michael Bove. Jr., a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, who presented an introduction to holographic TV, Thursday during a webcast hosted by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.
Predicting a “bright” future for holographic TV, he related that it is “more practical than many people think.” In fact, he said “multiple research groups” are working toward it’s potential – making it realistic, comfortable for viewers, and high quality.
He believes that these recent technological advancements together with the widespread attention that has been placed on shortcomings of “traditional” 3D TV could create a real opportunity for holographic 3D TV.
After what might be the biggest breakthough yet in holographic technology, Michael Bove and his world leading team a the MIT are now confidently predicting that affordable holographic tvs could be on the market within 10 years.
An optical chip that the team has built for less than $10, has been show to be able to power moving and coloured holographic images at a rate of 30 frames per second – the standard rate for normal tvs.
Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab are reporting a new approach to generating holograms that could lead to color holographic-video displays that cost less to produce than existing monochromatic technology. Finally.
Daniel Smalley, a graduate student in the Media Lab, began by building a prototype color holographic-video display with a similar resolution to a standard-definition TV. This display could produce video images 30 times a second, which is deemed fast enough to produce the illusion of motion. All of this is thanks to an optical chip that he built himself for around $10.
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.