of Holographic Television:
The technology to make motion
pictures has existed for around a century and the technology to make holograms
that appear three-dimensional has been around for several decades.
However, the technology to do both at the same time, creating three-dimensional
holographic motion pictures, has not yet arrived. Some holograms
appear animated when one changes one’s position – but generally this is
a finite sequence of frames, not a true video image.
Research is underway at some
university and corporate laboratories to develop three-dimensional holographic
motion pictures. Key research centers include those at MIT
and the University
of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. This research
is expected to lay the groundwork for holographic video within the next
five years and for holographic television within the next ten years.
Holographic technology is
currently being used to enhance two-dimensional television displays.
For example, a pane of glass with a holographic coating can be suspended
in the air in a transparent frame and backlit by a projected video image.
The result is a dramatic moving image that seems to float in mid-air.
However, this is not truly three-dimensional. Truly three-dimensional
holographic video or holographic television involves the creation of a
true three-dimensional animated holographic image. Researchers are
beginning to create such animated holograms within translucent volumes.
One of the challenges for
creating truly three-dimensional holographic video or holographic television
is how to move laser beams so that their three-dimensional intersection
changes. One way to do this is to divide the laser beam carrying
the video data into many, tiny, moving laser beams through the use of an
array of tiny mirrors whose movements can be controlled by computer.
The intersections of these many, tiny laser beams become the equivalent
of three-dimensional pixels for the creation of a three-dimensional moving
image. When this work bears fruit in the years to come, then holographic
television may project three-dimensional color images into your living
room. Imagine seeing sports and other events in three-dimensions
from different angles as you move around the room or rotate the image.
Recently, Holovisions has
been working on its own approaches to creating moving three-dimensional
displays. Holovision's patented HolovisionTM
technology has the potential to create high-resolution, large-scale, moving
three-dimensional images that can be viewed with full parallax by people
in different locations without special eyewear. HolovisionTM may be applied to virtually any field in which three-dimensional moving display would
be useful. Potential applications include: 3D television and movies;
3D computer monitors; 3D computer gaming and virtual reality simulation;
navigation and air traffic control; medical imaging and computer-assisted
surgery; 3D teleconferencing; new product design and development; 3D data
analysis and manipulation; and telerobotics.
Comparison of Progress Toward Holographic Television:
have worked for several decades toward creating technology to produce truly
three-dimensional, dynamic images. Such technology can serve
as the basis for three-dimensional computer and cell-phone displays, movies,
and television for applications in the fields of entertainment, engineering,
medicine, navigation, transportation, and communication. In
these fields, the term “holographic” is sometimes used in a specific manner
to refer to application of true holographic technology to the creation
of three-dimensional images. Other times, however, the term “holographic”
is used in a generic sense to refer to the creation of three-dimensional
images, or two-dimensional images in mid-air, by means other than
true holographic technology. In this analysis, we include discussion
of research and products with both the specific and generic uses of the
term “holographic”. Specifically, we propose and use the following
four-factor framework to evaluate progress toward the development of holographic
Motion Parallax is the degree to which a projected image is three-dimensional
and shifts in three-dimensional perspective when the viewer moves.
(coding: 0 = no three-dimensionality or motion parallax; 1 = low three-dimensionality
and motion parallax; 2 = moderate three-dimensionality and motion parallax;
3 = three-dimensionality and motion parallax approaching that of a real
Image is the degree to which a projected image has moving, three-dimensional
content that is generated by a computer or caused by other means except
viewer movement. (coding: 0 = static image, no dynamic content; 1
= low degree of self-generated dynamic content; 2 = moderate self-generated
dynamic content; 3 = fully dynamic, self-generated content -- like a true
three-dimensional motion picture.)
of View and Immersion is the range of view, up to 360 degrees, over which
a projected image may be viewed externally and, secondarily, the
degree to which the viewer can see it internally (immersion). (coding:
0 = narrow range of view and no immersion; 1 = moderate range of view and
no immersion; 2 = full 360-degree range of view and no immersion; 3 = full
360-degree range of view and full immersion)
Bandwidth is the quantity and rate of data flow in the projected
image -- including resolution and clarity, color spectrum, and refresh
rate. (coding: 1 = low image clarity and color spectrum; 2 = moderate
image clarity and color spectrum; 3 = high image clarity and color spectrum.)