One Step Closer to Holographic TV

Posted on February 16, 2008  Comments (3)

UA team creates new holographic display

A 3-D holographic image that can be updated and viewed without special glasses may soon find its way from a UA optics lab to operating rooms and battlefield command centers.

That holographic bird on your credit card can’t turn into something else every few minutes, but Tay’s display can take an image rendered in three dimensions — initially photographed or computer-generated — and display it on the display surface, followed by another and another.

In addition, the device requires no special glasses or headgear to see the image, unlike present-day virtual-reality systems.
The scientists who worked on the device first speak of using it as an aid in brain surgery or as a close-to-real-time battlefield display, but Tay and UA optical sciences professor Nasser Peyghambarian are not unaware of its much more commercial potential.

The heart of the innovation, says Tay, is the photorefractive polymer — a thin plastic film that reacts to light — that can hold an image indefinitely and be updated. Tay says the method that allowed the polymer to hold the image and update it came to him “out of the blue” while at a meeting about that very problem.

Cramming the pinball- machine-size collection of equipment into a “table-top” commercial unit is also possible, Tay says, but a challenge. Tay says the work, which started about two years ago, was done in collaboration with Nitto Denko Technical Corp. and was funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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3 Responses to “One Step Closer to Holographic TV”

  1. Trevor
    February 17th, 2008 @ 5:53 am

    For all the noble words about brain surgery the real driver for this sort of technology is bound to be entertainment and immersive VR. Imagine something like Second Life combined with 3d visualisation!

  2. Dennis
    February 25th, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

    “For all the noble words about brain surgery the real driver for this sort of technology is bound to be entertainment and immersive VR. Imagine something like Second Life combined with 3d visualisation!”

    Very true Trevor. It will be wondrous, but it presents a challenge. I can imagine people in the not-to-distant future getting totally absorbed inside worlds like this. Already there are people who spend way too much of their time playing video games and watching television. I can only imagine what it will be like when these experiences become more and more lifelike.

    But I an hardly stand in judgement, I’m sure I’ll be one of the first in line to get one when they become affordable. 🙂

  3. Curious Cat: Holographic Television on the Way
    October 6th, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

    “Peyghambarian is also optimistic that the technology could reach the market within five to ten years…”

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