The 3D holographic projection technology is based on a Victorian illusionary technique, which is called “Peppers Ghost”. It was commonly used in London’s theatres in the 1870s where the spirit of pepper was used to create ghostly figures on theatre stages (Toal, 12). Holography is the technique through which 3-dimensional images are made. It is the latest “Hi-definition projection Technology” (Kravetz, 320). A holographic projector is one that is capable of displaying 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional simulated images in the air.
Method (Current approaches and technologies being used in Holography)
Holography involves the use of diffraction, laser, light intensity and interference recording as well as suitable illumination of the recording (Kravetz, 320). There is no actual image but a recording that consists of a random structure made up of varying density, intensity or profile (Nawa, Hideo & Toru, 27). A person is captured in 3-dimensional aspect using a specialized camera and the image projected to distant locations. A viewer at the other end feels the presence of a real person in front of them and they can interact with the “virtual” person without wearing any special 3D glasses, in the same manner that they interact with an “actual person” (Robillard, 16). Nawa, Hideo and Toru opine that by just combining cameras, videoconferencing, and internet telephony, holographic technology will allow real-time exchange of information in the near future.
Fig 1: An example of a holographic projection
Holographic technology can find applications in scientific research, medicine, commerce, and in major industrial processes. Medical applications range from development of prosthetic limbs to live medical consultations with physicians from distant locations. Toal proposes that pilots in future will use Holographic Optical Elements (HOEs) for navigation (16). These among, other potentially progressive uses of holographic technology should inspire great research by governments and the private sector.
Promising technologies and solutions being researched and developed
Holography is currently at the development stages with several applications being tried out. At the moment scientists have managed to come up with 3-D projections that can be viewed from any angle. According to Toal white light is the limiting factor to the development of real holograms. Lasers of single colors are being used to come up with real holograms (21).
Though the technology is yet to come to full fruition, three major applications of holography will include holographic televisions, holographic memories and holographic computing. A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came up with a holographic television that can be watched without using special glasses. The development of such TVs on a commercial scale is expected to begin in about ten years. Scientists are also pursuing the possibility of a holographic memory in which holographic technology will be used to store more data in smaller spaces, which also enables the retrieval in a shorter time. Nawa, Hideo and Toru assert that this will be possible because holographic technology operates in 3 dimensions and not just on the surface (30).
Perhaps the most interesting application of holography and one in which intense research is currently going on is in the field of holographic computing. Apple Inc. researchers are working intensively on the technology and have even taken patents on holographic displays. Using holographic principles, the researchers are looking into the possibilities of using light to do computing instead of electrons.
Holography is the technique which produces 3-dimensional images. The technology involves the use of diffraction, laser, light intensity, and interference manipulations of light and images. Holographic technology can find applications in scientific researches, medicine, commerce, and in major industrial processes. Some of the major applications of the technology include holographic televisions, holographic memories and holographic computing. Holographic technology has an immense potential to find applications in numerous aspects of human life and the prospects of a future in which human interactions will be made easier and really exciting.
"Tupac “hologram” merely pretty cool optical illusion." Ars Technica. Cyrus Farivar, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. <http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/04/tupac-hologram-merely-pretty-cool-optical-illusion/>.
Kravetz, Alan. "Basics Of Holography."Color Research & Application 29.4 (2004): 320-321. Print.
Nawa, Kanabu, Hideo Suganuma, and Toru Kojo. "Baryons With Holography."Modern Physics Letters A 23.27 & 30 (2008): 2364. Print.
Robillard, Jean. Industrial applications of holography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Toal, Vincent. Introduction to holography. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2012. Print.