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Lensless zoom hologram system paves the way for small, low-cost portable projectors

October 18, 2013 | Telepresence Options

fiber projector hologram

Story and images by Kurzweilai

A small holographic projection system with a lensless zoom function has been�created�by researchers from Japan and Poland.

Imagine giving an important presentation when suddenly the projector fails. You whip out your smartphone, beam your PowerPoint presentation onto the conference-room screen, and are back in business within seconds.

When fully developed, the system should be cheaper and smaller than other projection systems, which�typically require expensive, complicated lenses and mechanical components, the researchers report in a paper just published in the�Optical Society's (OSA)�journal�Optics Express(open access).

The new holographic lensless zoom is not the first lensless zoom system to be developed, but�Tomoyoshi Shimobaba, a professor in the graduate school of engineering at Chiba University in Japan, notes that his team's system requires only a laser and an LCD panel.

Holograms replace lenses

To achieve a lensless zoom, Shimobaba, his colleagues from Chiba University, and Michal Makowski from the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland turned to holography.

Holography is a way to produce images by using the interference pattern of two laser beams to encode and later display the image. By their nature holograms operate without lenses. It is possible to represent a holographic image with numbers and formulas and then calculate how that image can be magnified.

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