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Graphics Software Technology

The Future of Holograms 248

D3 writes "A Slate article talks about the failure of holograms to really catch on and the future of using computers to create true holographic video ala Princess Leia. The article covers some history such as the fact that holograms have been around since 1947. Lots of great geek-pop references as well."
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The Future of Holograms

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  • Holograms (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov ( 793804 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:25PM (#10989963) Homepage
    all i care about is....is it a holodeck? if not then bleh.
    • Re:Holograms (Score:5, Interesting)

      by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#10990003) Journal
      I've long said if you give me a holodeck and replicator I'm never (ever) coming out. If you cut the power I will kill myself rather than facing the real world again.

      Sadly I think this would actually happen to more people than just myself, which would eventually erode teh human specis into non-existance.
      -nB
      • Re:Holograms (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Stone Rhino ( 532581 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ekrapm)> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:29PM (#10990030) Homepage Journal
        Well, Scott Adams once predicted that the Holodeck will be the last invention that humanity ever creates. Wouldn't surprise me if he turned out to be right.
        • We all know that "they" have already created the technology, but based on the fact that it would undoubtedly end humanity as we know it, "they" choose to not release the technology to the public and "they" stifle any attempts to broaden reasearch in said field.
        • Re:Holograms (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Mr_Icon ( 124425 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:57PM (#10990394) Homepage

          I'm coming up on 30 years of age. A couple of weekends ago I had a choice of whether to play a video game or to catch up on my language exercises. Believe it or not, declining Latin nouns appealed as something far more fun than whacking monsters, casting spells, or jumping ladders. This is not a decision I would have made when I was 20 or even 25.

          To some people, a holodeck, by the virtue of being a fake replica, can never replace the real world; and this will hold true for the time to come--as long as you are able to tell apart the real world and the world of make-believe, some people will voluntarily not partake in whatever the technology of play has to offer simply because they will perceive it as ultimately fruitless.

          Now, whether they will choose to procreate is an entirely different matter. :)

          • It's not about recreating the world directly outside your window. It's about recreating places you *can't* go to that fascinates people (and me!).

            Of course this also applies to all the pr0n jokes as to most /.'s since getting jiggy with Ms. Portman qualifies as a place they will *never* be anyway ;-)


          • Re:Holograms (Score:5, Insightful)

            by orion024 ( 694922 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:35PM (#10990877)
            Really, it goes beyond games. I can see many instances which even "older people" who aren't interested in games might be interested.

            Imagine books and movies that are played out in 3D before your eyes.

            Imagine that your kids are now married, and have kids of their own. Now imagine they live on the other side of the the country. Wouldn't it be nice to see your kids and grandkids in 3D? You would actually be able to sit in the "same" room together to talk. Or holographic conferencing while at work with your employees 2 states away.

            You say you were studying languages? Imagine practicing your language of choice with a fluent artificial intelligence who is standing right in front of you. Or, heck, from a real person who is transmitted as a 3D holograph into your living room.

            Imagine building your "house" holographically first. You'd be able to see how it would look from the inside and out before the ground was even broken.

            Car manufacturers would be able to holographically build cars and get driver feedback on design issues before they cut a single piece of metal.

            Beyond all the porn jokes and the games, the applications for everyday people are numerous and limited only by your imagination.
            • Sure, I'm not arguing the usefulness of technology. The original post was stating that "if holodecks are invented we'll spend all our time in them thus ending as species, since nobody would care about the real world any more."

              I can see myself using holodeck technology for recreation, visualisation, sexual gratification, etc, but I doubt it will consume much more of my time than I spend now on reading slashdot, browsing for porn, and renting movies.

          • The holodeck would be a real replica. A fake replica would be something real trying to pretend that it's fake.
        • If the holodeck were invented, think of all the pimps and prostitutes who would go out of business.
          • by trs9000 ( 73898 )
            If the holodeck were invented, think of all the pimps and prostitutes who would go out of business.

            man, that messes with me.... conjures up images of signs like:

            Holodeck Sale! Going Out Of Business! Everything Must Go! Total Liquidation of Stock!
        • That's not true. Hopefully, other technologies would advance at a similar pace, so that there are things for us to do besides spending time in VR.
        • Well, Scott Adams once predicted that the Holodeck will be the last invention that humanity ever creates. Wouldn't surprise me if he turned out to be right.

          Who says it'll be humanity that invents the holodeck? It may just as likely be an artificially intelligent scientist grown from our genetic algorithms that invents it for us.

        • Re:Holograms (Score:4, Interesting)

          by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:59PM (#10991173)
          Classic Star Trek predicted it long before Scott Adams.

          The bulging-skull Talosians destroyed their society because they mastered the power of illusion. The Federation considered the technology so dangerous that Talos IV was off-limits. (Spock illegally took the crippled Capt. Pike there so he could have some semblance of a normal life, even if it was an illusion.)

          Jebus, I am a geek for knowing that.
      • Re:Holograms (Score:3, Interesting)

        by delibes ( 303485 )
        Sadly I think this would actually happen to more people than just myself, which would eventually erode teh human specis into non-existance.

        I agree that it'd happen to others, but not the whole species. It'd just get rid of those prone to being addicted to living in a fantasy. So that's all the D&D geeks, video gamers, /. readers, crazy liberal artists - we'd be left with a world full of dull suits. Great.

        Of course, some would argue that TV has already started the process...

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The ingested food after some time will become part of your body. When you leave holodeck suddnely this part will disappear causing serious medical complications.

      • I've long said if you give me a holodeck and replicator I'm never (ever) coming out.

        The holodeck, when it comes out, will be just an engine, and will probably have some military simulation since they're the ones who probably paid for most of it.

        After it's out, people will write mods, and you'll have to leave the simulation at some point to search for and download. I mean, maybe you'll be happy with Natalie v1.0, but could you stay in there knowing that the soon to be released v1.5 comes with hot gri
      • Holodeck (Score:4, Funny)

        by Traa ( 158207 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:07PM (#10990538) Homepage Journal
        [Engineering Log: Somewhere in the future]
        "Well, we managed to create a holodeck with completely convincing graphics. The problem is that the AI chick we where all dying to meet has fallen for the marketing guy and claims not to be interested in nerds. Well, damn."
      • "Sadly I think this would actually happen to more people than just myself, which would eventually erode teh human specis into non-existance."

        I think people would get bored with it pretty quick, just like every other entertainment device out there. Mainly, though, I just don't imagine the software being that perpetually compelling.
      • Holodecks incorporate replicator technology for many objects that interact with the user. Therefore, a meal eaten on a holodeck is a 'real' replicated meal. Replication is used for other things such as sand, clothing, etc...

        Yeah, don't say it, I know...too much time poking around DITL [ditl.org].
      • Screw the holodeck. Give me Better [tripod.com] than [blueyonder.co.uk] Life [sadgeezer.com] from Red Dwarf!

        SiO2
      • Re:Holograms (Score:3, Interesting)

        Erode the human species into non-existence? I think you greatly overestimate the value in the (relative) handful of persons who'd rather live in a holodeck with a replicator.

        The rest of the human race will go on doing exactly what they always did and move forward (slowly of course) sans-holodeck.

        And I'm not trying to belittle you in any way. I'm possibly going to end my days in a holodeck with a replicator too in your scenario.

        Computer. "Load program Swedish Bikini Team number 14 please. "Irresist
      • Robotic instead of holographic sex, but you get the point:

        Mother: Billy, do you want to walk your dog?
        Billy: No thanks, mom, I'd rather make out with my Monroebot.
        Father: Billy, do you to get a paper out and make some extra cash?
        Billy: No thanks, dad, I'd rather make out with my Monroebot.
        Girl: Billy, do you want to come over tonight, we could make out together.
        Billy: Gee, Mavis, your house is across the street. It's an awfully long way to go for making out.
    • Ya know, if you use the holodeck for only that purpose (you know which one), things would get awfully sticky and smelly in there awfully quick.
  • by tonywestonuk ( 261622 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:25PM (#10989969)
    Yeahhhh Babyyyyy!!!
    • by mschoolbus ( 627182 ) <travisriley@REDHATgmail.com minus distro> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#10990000)
      I have something like that, its called a girlfriend...

      Although I think holopr0n would be better, more willing... ;-)
    • Holopr0n would truly be the last invention ever. How could anyone be convinced that they should be doing something other than fucking an image of [insert hottie's name here] in their holodeck? It would be the downfall of industrial society, but at least we'd all die happy.
    • Although this is funny and ironic, it probably will take the pr0n industry to move along this innovation. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

      Much of the pioneering advancements in internet in the last decade were driven by the needs of the industry:

      Streaming, secured content,
      large scale content distribution,
      instant online transactions with authentication and security, etc.

      I'm not saying that the pr0n industry was the only industry to want and need these things, but they were the early pio

    • Re:HOLOPR0N!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 )
      In all seriousness though, I imagine it will be the porn industry that pioneers this. You can talk all day about it being a scientific aid for engineers or doctors, but the possibilities of holo-porn will probably be one of the initial driving forces.

      Scientists may use any technology they develop to demonstrate it's normal day to day applications, but getting it cheap for the masses will be the porn industries doing.

      Never underestimate the millions of horny men around the world.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    that invaded the arcades around 1991 or so?

    Hey remember those arcade places?
  • Ugh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:27PM (#10989989) Homepage
    Combining "holograms" and "geek-pop" in the same article summary conjurs up some awful visuals....
    • [OT] Replying to sig:
      I think that would present a very interesting dynamic in the Karma system. Maybe a weighted blend of your posts' moderation combined with reply moderation?
      -nB
      • [OT] Replying to sig: I think that would present a very interesting dynamic in the Karma system. Maybe a weighted blend of your posts' moderation combined with reply moderation?

        Remaining [OT]... Yeah, but it's still wishful thinking, of course. The moderation system favors highly polarized comments that appeal to specific groups, rather than intellectual analysis that encourages polite or at least respectful discussion. Intellegent discourse is still likely when the subject matter is extremely technical

    • Like this? [smartrobots.com]

      All I can think is "Help me Lord Vader," when I see that pic.
  • by Dorsai65 ( 804760 ) <dkmerriman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#10989997) Homepage Journal
    Do not look into laser with remaining eyeball!
  • Sega Hologram (Score:3, Informative)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:29PM (#10990013)
    Sega Hologram. I can't believe the article actually went there. At least they pointed out that it was not in fact a 3-D picture. If you don't believe me, try playing one where someone removed the colored blocks.
  • Now you needn't ask (Score:5, Interesting)

    by earthforce_1 ( 454968 ) <earthforce_1.yahoo@com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:29PM (#10990018) Journal
    You need not ask anymore why somebody would ever want a 500 TFlop graphics card that runs at 4 THz with a petabyte or more of video RAM. Imagine the computational power needed for high FPS first person holographic virtual reality games!
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:53PM (#10990346)
      I'm not sure you would need as much graphical processing power that 2D renditions of 3D scenes. A lot of the math involved is for the "camera" and answering the question "What would element X look like when viewed from angle Y?" If you're dealing with holograms, there is no "camera" angle to worry about, since that's determined by where your eyes are in The Real World.
      • Yes, which must be multiplied because a generated hologram has to generate the image for a *lot* of vieewing angles. And your eyes will arbitrarily find two of these "cameras", however, all will still have to be rendered (unless someone incorporates some eye-tracking thing, but then it might as well not be a hologram at all but a stereogram.)
    • by Swamii ( 594522 )
      Actually, DirectX, OpenGL, and other rendering engines used in most games today put a lot of processing power into converting 3d points to 2d screen points (i.e. rendering the 3d scene to a 2d surface).

      I really don't think the computational power would be much extra, other than the physical beaming of lights in 3 dimensions rather than 2.
    • By the time the technology is ready for that, the price will have come down to the point that the average FPS addict can pretend to afford one.
    • You can buy a single VGA projector for something like 500 pounds [kelkoo.co.uk]. For just 3000 pounds, you can build your own virtuality cave. That is assuming you can modify your application to display all six views (six sides of a cube = 2400x 1200 framebuffer). For me that is the ultimate game system with full 360 x 180 visual field.
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:29PM (#10990028)

    It's that they aren't really useful yet. Yeah, we do have the technology to simulate a 3d image. You need shutter glasses or a bizarre narrow-field LCD display or some other fairly clumsy way to get at the 3d-ness of the image.

    We do not have the holographic projector R2-D2 used for the famous Leia scene yet.

    And that's why they haven't caught on. They're not convenient enough yet. I guarantee if you can duplicate R2's projector, they will catch on.

    • by delibes ( 303485 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:37PM (#10990128)
      I guarantee if you can duplicate R2's projector, they will catch on. Nah, if they can duplicate Leia in a gold bikini, they will catch on.
    • by bloggins02 ( 468782 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:40PM (#10990178)
      I guarantee if you can duplicate R2's projector, they will catch on.

      The problem is, that's hard to accomplish. I would really love to see the same thing (i.e., a real holographic projector, just like in Sci-fi), but the problem is this: how do you tell the light when to stop?

      If you'll remember, R2's style actually projected the image in mid-air. So in order for a viewer to see that image, it meant that the light from the projector had to be sent to the viewer's eyes. Now a normal stream of photons from a projector would hit the floor, then bounce every which way. But no, what happened with the projector is that the photon stream somehow STOPPED in midair and then started radiating everywhich way so that your eye could see it. Not only that, but the light from the OTHER side of the image (relative to the viewer) somehow didn't interfere with the light on this side (or else you could see, for example, both sides of her face at once).

      Now as soon as you can figure out how to make THAT happen (not counting cheating by using fog or spinning mirrors), then you've got something.
      • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <setherNO@SPAMtru7h.org> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:51PM (#10990320) Homepage
        Microscopic torpedos that blow up with little flashes of light at carefully measured distances, of course. Think of it as a really small fireworks show.

        Just don't make the mistake of standing in the projector beam.

        As the act of "seeing" relies on having light reflected into our eyes, and we're not allowed to give the light anything to reflect against by cheating with smoke and mirrors, we have to devise some mechanism to emit the light from where we want it to be seen, in all directions so it can be seen on all sides.
        • Microscopic torpedos that blow up with little flashes of light at carefully measured distances, of course. Think of it as a really small fireworks show.

          In some ways this is not a bad idea. Not torpedos but little nanobots with light-emitting diodes. Then you could have a mechanical aspect to the picture as well, instead of directing the light, you move the light. With advances in nano-tech it doesn't seem that far-fetched. (of course we'll still talking decades at least).
          • Nanobots, with some form of hovering engine to deal with minor(5 mph) wind. it would for the most part be reusable(you could call them back to the source) so you would only have to replace a minor number of them each time.

            Now if we can only get nano bots to build nano sized neutron bombs and load them into hand held size weapons. That would be fun.
    • I guarantee if you can duplicate R2's projector, they will catch on.

      That's the easy part - I want to know how R2D2 recorded her backside when he was in front of her. Sure, maybe be bounced some scatter-EM off of the walls, but that implies his camera wouldn't work outside.

      Maybe he doesn't record at all - he just has a good semantic model and a hell of a nice rendering engine.
  • woo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld&gmail,com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:30PM (#10990040) Homepage
    A Slate article talks about the failure of holograms to really catch on and the future of using computers to create true holographic video ala Princess Leia.

    Larger image, higher resolution, and less clothing, and they've got my consumer dollars.
  • by teiresias ( 101481 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:31PM (#10990052)
    So one day holograms became apart of our daily life.

    Say you leave a hologram away message. You're not just going to stand their and recite your message/joke/song. You're going to have to put in some inflection, some hand movements, and some facial gestures etc. Pretty soon, we'll have hologram blogs with people acting out their favorite movie scenes. Hologram ads will be next. Than hologram porn. Than hologram gaming.

    The future looks bright.
  • Apparently, not to many /. readers care judging by the lack of posting activity.
  • by dema ( 103780 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:36PM (#10990126) Homepage
    ...we need a Futurama quote (:

    Kif: This is the Holo-Shed. It can simulate anything you desire, and nothing can hurt you. Except when it malfunctions and the holograms become real.
    Amy: Well, that probably won't happen this time.
    Kif: Computer; Run program Kif-1.
    Amy: This is so beautiful!
    Kif: Yes. I programmed it in for you! 4 million lines of BASIC!
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
    After reading the article on Firefox, the same sort of browser I use to read Slashdot, I found that the best part of the article were the apparently random [random.org] and inexplicable [accessexcess.org] links. But the best part was how it obsessed over a theoretical far-off pie-in-the-sky technology of pure holography instead of focussing on the up-and-coming developments in 3d display.
  • Once they become ubiqitous (?) they will succede. I guess thats the definition of success though. I think it all has to do with price. Its a bit of a chicken and egg situation. They would be cheap if they were on every computer, but they won't be on every computer until someone writes the killer app. It is much less likely that someone will write the killer app until they are on every computer.
  • Storage? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zugot ( 17501 ) <bryanNO@SPAMosesm.com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:43PM (#10990212)
    What happened to the promised hologram storage?
  • by Tuki ( 613364 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:49PM (#10990284)
    The cheapest way to make a hologram: http://www.amasci.com/amateur/holo1.html [amasci.com]
  • by chipwich ( 131556 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:49PM (#10990295)
    Speaking of holograms... for generating holograms without a laser (just your PC, a laser printer, and a transparency), check out the MedCosm CGHmaker [medcosm.com].

    Anyone know of a really hi-res output device?
  • by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:50PM (#10990305)

    From TFA: "You'll just have to hold your breath for another 20 or 30 years."

    A drop in the bucket, baby. I'm living to 1000! [slashdot.org]


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Holograms haven't caught on? They're used every day in vital economic activities. For example, without holograms, it would be impossible for Microsoft to produce legitimate copies of Windows; Microsoft would only be able to make worthless warez copies. The computer industry would grind to a halt.
  • Countries are beginning to issue money with holograms on it, presumably to foil conterfeiters. New Canadian $20 bills are pretty nifty looking, perhaps to celebrate the fact that they're almost worth something these days.

    They've also released limited edition $20 coins with holograms of Niagara falls and icebergs and such.

    I'm sure other countries are beginning to do the same.

    So when are they going to produce bills with hologrammatic movies on them? Or would a 3D clip of the Mounties's Musical Ride be w

  • Here is a big hint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John Sokol ( 109591 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:00PM (#10990450) Homepage Journal

    Most things labeled as holgrams are crappy 3D effects. Such as those lenticular sheet 3D effects on magazine covers and breakfast cerial boxes.

    This word missuse has really discredited those who have real holograms.

    Then there are still image holograms such as the cheap Mylar prints that aren't too bad if lit right, but most people can't or aren't willing to get up proper lighting to display them effectivly. The fact that I can't just put a nail in the wall and hang it is a large setback.

    The glass plate holograms are very expensive but when done right are frightenly real. Like one a friend of mine made of his head with a pulsed ruby laser. I really looks like a decapitated head in a box, in almost any lighting. He was showing it at a fleamarket and people would call the cops, or completely go histerical in horror screaming and crying, thinking is was a real head in a box (except it was just a flat glass palate)

    Here is the big hint now.

    Did you know you can digitaly generate a hologram compulationaly and print it on a laser printer, photographicaly reduce it and have it work as a hologram!

    A hologram is really just a black and white print of the light interferiance patterns (that are much larger then the wavelength of light used).

    You can even display these interference patterns in realtime using a LCOS chip if it's illiminated correctly,(mono chrome only) and product true holographic image. Limited to 1 inch across through and $5000 at the moment.

    So if it were possible to get an LCOS that was 14 inches across it would litteraly be like a red tinted glass porthole into another universe. Will all the detail and resolution of looking out side the window of your office!

    There was some very interesting experiments we did with this a few years ago. Maybe someday I'll have the time to write these up in more detail.

    • So if it were possible to get an LCOS that was 14 inches across it would litteraly be like a red tinted glass porthole into another universe. Will all the detail and resolution of looking out side the window of your office!

      You have a window ? You have an office ? Luxury! Sheer Luxury! With luxuries like that who needs holograms? Of course if holograms get cheap enough they'll probably be used to develop the holocubicle. It's a 5' x 5' office cubicle that looks as if it's much, much larger.

  • Lots of great geek-pop references as well.

    You mean like Gem and the Holograms [imdb.com].

    oh wait...
  • by lgreco ( 618568 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:12PM (#10990608) Homepage
    Real time, photorealistic holographic imaging is quite difficult. For one it requires more than just on color. Holograms are produced and re-created using monochromatic light sources. Not only you cannot have multiple colors you cannot even have different shades of the same color! Another complication is that for a sizeable holographic image you'll require substantial amounts of energy focused on relatively confined space. Your fire insurance premium are sure to rise faster than USS 1701D hops across the galaxy at warp 9.

    Years ago I saw some work from Stanford (Bert Hesselink's lab, if I remember right) on volumetric displays. Basically they used a crystal as a "screen" for holographic projection. The density of the crystal was better than that of air and it represented a stable medium (compared to water mist of other vapors) to project a hologram. It sounds like smoke and mirrors but it was quite impressive and you could see the hologram in normal light conditions, not only in darkened rooms.

    I think that with present technology, holographic imaging is not possible. Holograms, however, are a good basis for developing new kinds of dense data storage systems with true associate recall capabilities. Interesting work on this subject was done by groups at Caltech, Stanford, Colorado State, and UC San Diego in the 1990s. The February 1998 issue of the IEEE Computer magazine features a special section on this kind of technology.
  • The interference pattern for the whole image is stored on every part of the image, from that part's perspective. In other words, if I had a true holographic photograph and cut it in four, I'd have four complete images. Just four complete images from four different angles.
    • The interference pattern for the whole image is stored on every part of the image, from that part's perspective. In other words, if I had a true holographic photograph and cut it in four, I'd have four complete images. Just four complete images from four different angles.

      Cool! This means that when holo displays come out I'll be able to take my chainsaw and cut my holo display into four smaller holo displays. I tried doing that with my CRT, but it was really messy, and I got to go to the hospital and lea

  • Heliodisplay (Score:2, Interesting)

    In Issue 205 of ZZZ Online [zzz.com.ru], we discussed the HelioDisplay. There are some really cool holographic systems out there, but they're expensive and not quite what I think anyone expected.

    The cool think about things like the HelioDisplay is that it uses water vapor to make the projection. I didn't see any of that around Princess Leia. I think the biggest obstacle has been trying to make holographic projections appear in space without having some kind of hard media (glass, crystal, etc.) surrounding it.

    It's

  • planar camera arrays (Score:3, Informative)

    by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:25PM (#10990777)
    There were some interesting papers at the 2004 Los Angeles SIGGRAPH on using planar arrays of cameras. Lots of people have tried stereo vision- because we have two eyes- but why stop at two? Cameras, projectors, and PCs have been inexpensive enough that you can experiment with redundant arrays of these, much like RAID revolutionized disk storage a decade ago.

    Now what can you do with a planar array of cameras? You are seeing one viewpoint, or two, but *all* viewpoints, coarsely sampled. In some respects this is like a realtime hologram.

    Marc Levoy's group at Stanford constructed an image "cube" of a scence- all depths of view and points of view. You can pluck out individual objects in a congested space like cocktail party or animals in a cornfield by computer synthesizing the appropriate focus. It almost seems like you can see through objects or arround corners.

    Two other groups performed wide-angle realtime 3D TV (without eyeglasses). You have all the viewpoints all the time. Another group used an insect-eye approach using a special lense array and camera on each arrays. Then realtime computing would rearrange the pixels to present a 3D image.

    Theres many other ideas to explore out there, if you liberate your thinking from the point of a view of a one or two eye creature.
    • I personally saw the 3D TV, it used 16 cameras. It was...OK. Really only impressive because it was semi-realtime (5 second lag). The lenticular approach is nice because we really, really want autostereoscopy, but that's about it. None of the displays impute more than a couple inches of depth, and it hurts your eyes when you move your head.

      The polarized light projectors work really well. It'd be very cool if polarized contacts could work. Past that, though, it's all very very overrated.

      Even holograms
  • The strict conditions under which holograms are made greatly limits what you can generate images of. It isn't hard to make holograms, but to make bright, interesting holograms is more of an effort. If you only have a continuous source (such as a laser diode) the hologram has to be made in darkroom conditions, and vibration and temperature changes must be kept to a minimum. Exposures are quite long too - with the process I use, small plates are exposed around 10-15 seconds. Holographic Optical Elements a
  • This is quaint nostalgia from limited imaginations. What you want is The Matrix.
    With holograms, you can see it. But you can't smell, taste, or touch it.

    Yeah, watching Angelina Jolie strip in 3 dimensions is sweet, but with the Matrix, you can be doing AJ.

    Take it from Cypher:

    You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
    [Takes a bite of steak]
    Ignorance i

  • I (and others) have theorized that it should be possible to burn a holographic image onto a CD or DVD. Yamaha demonstrated it could be done for plain images, but I was disappointed when I found it wouldn't burn pit-level resolution.

    Unfortunately, standard interfaces don't give pit-level control, so you'd have to hack the firmware. Surely that can't be too hard, can it?
  • because I think that's exactly what we need for a "walk around" type holograph that we see in movies. The problem is that most hologram solutions right now are on a flat surface.

    However, in the movies, the hologram appears to be suspended in mid air, and people are actually around it. The problem with creating such a thing here is bouncing the light off a surface, and also making it so that each angle produces a different image.

    The only way I can see anything close to this being produced is if we hav
  • Does anyone remember this game Time Traveler from Sega [ggdb.com] I never played it, but I recall it being a holographic video game.

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord

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