By Rishabh Prasad:
When the technology started taking the inevitable turns, people used to get goose bumps with small LCD displays on various electronic goods. Today, the technology leap has compelled the users to strive for more and the manufacturers to deliver much more. With 3D technology becoming so popular, researchers have made a major step towards a holographic videoconferencing system that would let people communicate with one another almost as if they were in the same room.
With so many 3D movies coming our way, 3D technology has already become a huge hit in various arenas like televisions, gaming, etc. Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona, and colleagues said that their new holographic technology can project a near 360-degree image to another location that updates every two seconds. In the coming years, the researchers hope to develop a system that refreshes at standard video rates and can compete with other 3-D displays.
Now what exactly is holography? It is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the objects were still present, thus making the recorded image (hologram) appear three dimensional. With 3D, one perspective is projected to one eye and another perspective is projected to the other, which is why people wear special glasses. With the hologram, no special glasses are needed and the number of perspectives is only limited by the number of cameras used. Other than no glasses advantage, another striking feature is that multiple persons can simultaneously use without any need to stand at a particular location. To create the hologram, cameras take color images at multiple angles and send them over an Ethernet line. So if we talk about video conferencing, the users sitting on one of the sides will see the side view, those sitting in the front will be seeing the front view and those at the back will be receiving the back view.
“If you look at the 3D object, we show it is very much like if you look around you. It’s the closest to what you see compared to any other technology. We foresee many applications, including for example, car or airplane manufacturing. They can look at the hologram and design the system they have in real-time and look at the model and make changes on it as they go,” Peyghambarian said.
“This breakthrough opens new opportunities for optics as a means to transport images in real time,” Lynn Preston, director of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Centers program, said in a statement. Now can we see this coming to the usual consumers in the near future? The answer is “No”. The team is still working on the Display and the power consumption related issues which will take at least two years to tackle. It will be far longer before the system can be used by ordinary consumers.