Two months ago, during the opening of New Zealand Technology Week at the ASB Waterfront Theater in Auckland, the initial conference was held by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. To everyone’s surprise, when the lights of the place went out and the curtains were opened, Ardern appeared on the stage but in the form of a hologram.
The audience shared the impression of being in an upside-down world in which fiction became reality. With a skirt and a white coat, Ardern’s hologram had a blunt realism. The figure was as clear as the one of Princess Leia’s hologram in the Star Wars movie when she appears before Obi-Wan Kenobi to ask her for help.
This week, after the defeat of the Belgian football team against France, its captain, Eden Hazard, appeared on a television set, sitting on a stool in front of the presenters although he was actually hundreds of kilometres away, in the city of St. Petersburg. The news about Hazard turned into a hologram after the tight and difficult game of his selection quickly went viral.
The idea of holography, creating images manipulating light, is not new. It was invented in 1948 by the Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. Gabor worked on images produced with electronic microscopes. The first holograms were very rudimentary but they undoubtedly opened a path for imagination and science.
What is the technology that brought Hazard from Russia to the television set in Belgium or Ardern from the House of Government to that theatre in Auckland? Dave Hall, a journalist of technology in the Guardian newspaper, raised just weeks ago that everything depends on the definition that each one has of a hologram. “We have made amazing breakthroughs in 3D TV and virtual reality, and in the complex world of computer-generated holography (CGH),” he wrote.
In the latest version of the CES 2018 (Consumer Electronic Show), world trade fair in Las Vegas, one of the most watched shows was stolen from the Kino-mo company with its Hypervsn device. It is a visual solution that allows you to create, manage and display 3D video content with a holographic effect.
“It uniquely combines an intelligent management platform and a projection unit, a high-tech hardware device that generates impressive 3D images perceived by viewers as high-resolution holograms that float in the air,” the company explains. Web page. Very likely something similar to this used Belgian television to carry out the interview with Hazard.
But, as Hall noted, what we really want to see are independent 3D images that can be viewed from any angle, that behave like a solid object, “what some scientists call volumetric image.” And of that pretension, we are still far away. Computer-generated holograms demand a high level of processing. “Almost a quintillion of operations per second … this is 300 times faster than the fastest computer in the world today. According to Moore’s law on technology, it will not reach desktops until 2046, “said Professor Pierre-Alexandre Blanche of the Optical Sciences Faculty of the University of Arizona.
But there are some interesting prototypes. In January of this year, the journal Science reviewed the work of Daniel Smalley, an electrical engineer at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and his colleagues, who used laser beams to manipulate small particles in the air and generate something close to a hologram that can be seen from any angle.
Another example of advances in this area of technology is the work done by the Creative Technologies Institute of the University of Southern California with a 360-degree screen. Sony adopted the same technology for its prototype 360-degree Ray Modeler colour screen, a tube-shaped device that would not look out of place in the living room.
“Scientists have tried to create 3D projections or volumetric screens for more than a century with varying degrees of success. Some screens work by quickly projecting a sequence of images cut into a piece of rotating glass, giving the impression of a complete 3D object.
Others project images on clouds of fog or dust. However, very few screens can be precisely controlled while still floating freely in the air, “reflected Matt Warren of Science magazine while Barry Blundell, physicist and engineer from the University of Derby in the United States concluded that” it is easy to make a volumetric screen that works, [but] it is very difficult to make a volumetric screen that works well, therefore, it takes about 100 years of research. “
Shirley Mist has been involved in fashion and design for many years. She has also written extensively for many online publications. She currently writes for The Tribune World and is a valued member of our team.