Dynamic 3D holograms now refresh every two seconds

By on November 8, 2010, 2:25 PM
Researchers at the University of Arizona say they are a step closer to 3D real-time images. Their latest holographic prototype, featuring lasers beaming information onto a 10-inch photorefractive polymer screen (17-inch versions are also being tested), can project a near 360-degree image that updates every two seconds. In 2008, the same group demonstrated a black and white 3-D image that could be updated every four minutes, meaning today's system is more than 100 times faster. That's still a long ways away from 30FPS, which is the minimum refresh rate for our eyes not to notice individual frames in a video, but the progress is certainly heartening.

To create the hologram, cameras take color images at multiple angles and send them over an Ethernet cable. The images are then projected onto a transparent plastic panel and refreshed every couple of seconds. Unlike 3D technology, no special glasses are needed for holograms and the number of perspectives is only limited by the number of cameras used. For 3D, one perspective is projected to one eye and another perspective is projected to the other. Future displays will lie flat and the system will be able create the illusion that the image is floating above the screen.

  The technology could one day be used in teleconferencing (viewers sitting on one side see the front of a person while those behind them see their back), complex medical operations requiring multiple surgeons from around the world, and for education purposes (imagine getting a lecture from the expert in a given field and feel like you are in the lab with them). That day won't come soon, however, as there still many issues to work out, including improving the screen and reducing the system's power demands. The researchers estimate the technology won't arrive in our homes till at least seven to 10 years from now.





User Comments: 27

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Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Wow, 7-10 years? I was thinking later than that. Anyway, teleconferencing and education are nice everything but what about gaming!? lol

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Was I the only one that noticed, that in such a technologically advanced place they are still using... Windows XP?

Windows XP FTW.

Emil said:

lawfer said:

Was I the only one that noticed, that in such a technologically advanced place they are still using... Windows XP?

Windows XP FTW.

I admit, I was rather disappointed.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

Wow, very cool stuff. Although I guess we still have a while before it gets anywhere near working condition for consumers.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Emil said:

lawfer said:

Was I the only one that noticed, that in such a technologically advanced place they are still using... Windows XP?

Windows XP FTW.

I admit, I was rather disappointed.

I was too, it kind of took the veracity of their research. Like, really? You are using a 10 year old OS with such machines, and advanced technologies, and claiming you are near to real-time 3D images?

But then I thought, that the fact its still being used is admirable. Windows XP is like an annoying zombie that just won't die. And that, I got to respect.

TwiztidSef said:

With all these hyperrealistic 3d animations and such, we should be able to get a pretty cool hologram system set up. Using a 3d engine may even speed up what they have now. From what it looks like, they are stitching together many photos based off name. I am betting that there is quite a bit of overhead in the computer programs stitching process.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

lawfer said:

Windows XP is like an annoying zombie that just won't die. And that, I got to respect.

No one has made a shotgun with a wide enough bore to take it out. =p

speeedy6 said:

I'm gonna sit out the current 3D stuff and wait for this...

sMILEY4ever said:

speeedy6 said:

I'm gonna sit out the current 3D stuff and wait for this...

What 3d stuff? It's just smoke.

Se7enVII said:

Looks awesome. Can't wait to see this technology become mainstream in people's homes. 7-10 years isn't too far off. I'll be in my late 20s/early 30s!

jazboy said:

Wow.. its really amazing.

edison5do said:

Really really amazin, when I first saw The AVATAR movie though that was far away say like 20-40 years but here we are just 7-10 years to see that. cientistare really doing their homework.

Elitassj4 said:

Can you imagine PR0N on this ?!?!?! lowl ....can't wait to see this technology fully developed.

vangrat said:

Seriously, 7 to 10 years and this will be mainstream? I can only assume that the first itteration will be some sort of gaming console. An entrance to the living room, kind of like how the blueray got its start through the PS3.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The Star Wars reference was a very good point, this is very very cool. Sounds like give it 20 years when I may have a 15 yr old son, he could have a 3D monitor! I bet the way we interact with computers is going to dramatically increase in physical exercise and space.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

I don't see it mainstream in 7-10 years. I think it will be VERY expensive and used only by businesses and schools at first. It will then be improved and there will be cheaper alternatives for us regular consumers. Just think about the power these machines will need...no average consumer will be able to afford it. I see it like Microsoft's table computers...only more successfull because where's the last place you've seen one of those? lol

fadownjoo said:

lol windows xp....how much difference is it besides win 7 anyway?? maybe dx 11 is biggest one

Johnny Utah said:

The above poster obviously doesn't know much about operating systems or direct x.

dlen said:

This is a good news. I't could be used in games and typical laptops e.g. for 3D desktops.

DSparil said:

If they make a "touch-able" hologram then I will be impressed.

Just imagine the possibilities...

Yeah. I know what you're thinking.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

I know what you are thinking Dsparil...

High fiving Holograms!

Demons said:

Every 2 seconds eh? Well I guess that's an improvement but like the article says, we are still a long way off from real time video. Very cool technology though. There seems to be a really big 3d push these days. I really don't think 3d will go mainstream till they can loose the glasses.

raventrickster said:

It's impressive tech, but from the looks of it they haven't gotten all the way to a full 3d hologram yet, but rather *just* a rewritable 2d hologram. That said they've come a long way and I'm looking forward to seeing more developments in the field of practical holographics.

Colonel Lance said:

The future is coming! I find it amazing what people are capable of doing when they work hard. I bet if you went back 30 years and asked someone if they thought this would ever be possible they would have said no.

Puiu Puiu said:

they say 7 to 10 years but it will most likely be around 12 to 15 years before we can actually sell them to normal consumers. Slowly but surely we getting there.

treetops treetops said:

kinect+hologram=win

zogo said:

I dont't think we'll have to go to work with this kind of technology.

I hope that I will live to see it and use it

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