By Devanshi Saxena
Holograms are not an esoteric topic for ardent sci-fi fans. Movies like The Avengers, Avatar, Iron Man and television shows like Star Wars and Star Trek have garnered a large viewership base owing to their fascinating tryst with otherworldly technological advancements. The idea of a 3-D hologram technology was first introduced in the movie ‘Star Wars’ in one of the most popular vintage sci-fi scenes where the robot R2-D2 projected a 3-D image of Princess Leia pleading for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Tony Stark’s lab, equipped with all the cutting edge technological contraptions is an absolute wonderland of novel ideas to develop some fascinating technological tools which have the potential to widen the scope of advancements in all the fields of life. As reported in Nature, some engineers have developed a technique to perform a very basic 3-D hologram projection. Although still far from the flawless sci-fi versions, this fundamental discovery will definitely lead to the promotion of some central prospects in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), surgical techniques and marketing.
Research advancements in holographic technology
Cinematic imagination makes such advanced technology look mundane. However, in the real world, developing such intricate and superlative hologram technology or volumetric displays has never been a cakewalk. After a great deal of research and experimentation accompanied by a string of failures as well as moderately successful attempts, a very primitive method has been developed. The first system of ‘touchable holograms’ was successfully created by a team at the Tokyo University. Meanwhile, another major breakthrough has been the development of a device that can transmit 3-dimensional images in real time. This discovery may open up the interesting arena of telepresence technology.
Methods of hologram creation
The fastest 3-D motion hologram has been unveiled by a group of researchers from the University of Arizona. The procedure operating behind this 3-D motion hologram is all the more remarkable, consisting of 16 cameras which have been used to create a 45-degree 3-D image. Each camera takes a different snapshot (360-degrees) and more the number of cameras, greater is the resolution of the image created. To tackle the issues related to the refresh rates of the image, a special type of photo-refractive material is applied on the screen which reacts chemically with the lasers that are used to create the holographic images.
The phenomenon of ‘photophoresis’ is also being applied to develop more nuanced 3-D projections. In this, an intense beam of light is used to direct and manipulate small, airborne particles. A group of researchers at the Brigham Young University, using an optically controlled and barely visible violet laser, trapped a cellulose particle and moved it rapidly through space. Coloured lasers were then used to illuminate the swiftly moving particle. Patterns were then traced out in the air with the assistance of this particle in motion.
Applications and relevance of 3-D technology
Hologram displays are one of the best ways to design digital content to suit human compatibility. The revolutionary concept of holographic telepresence will prove to be of prime importance in marketing campaigns. Holograms will also have a profound effect on the qualitative improvement of training, design, and visualisation in enterprises. The ability to display spatial relationships with greater precision will provide substantial assistance.
3-D visualisations would be of great help to the physicians during complex surgical procedures where accuracy is of major importance. High-resolution MRI image of the data can be easily obtained through this technology thus, bringing a positive transformation in the field of medicine.
Moreover, the exact impact of the holographic technology on our view of the universe, nature, and the humankind still remains to be discovered. Will it equip us to explore the unmapped perceptions of science and universe? Will it enable us to develop a clearer understanding of the holographic nature? Indeed, a pattern can be safely predicted only after the major breakthrough discoveries become a part of the practical experimentation in real-life situations.
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