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New technique could lead to bigger, cheaper and color-accurate holograms

February 17, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Dario Borghino / Gizmag

Microsoft's recent HoloLens announcement has reignited interest in holographic displays, but the current state of affairs suggests that this technology may still be too expensive and limited to become truly widespread. Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) and MIT are bridging the gap with a new important step toward the next generation of high-bandwidth, color-accurate holographic video displays that could span the size of an entire room at one tenth the cost of state of the art devices.

Unlike 3D movies, which render images from the very same angle no matter where you're sitting, holograms change dynamically based on the viewer's angle and position to provide a much more realistic sense of depth. The higher level of immersion has allowed for some memorable performances on stage and could transform the worlds of computer-aided design and communications (think telepresence), but the high cost and limited capabilities of today's holographic displays have been hard to overcome.

Things might change with the help of research by assistant professor Daniel Smalley and team, who have built on some of their previous work on the subject to complete a crucial new step toward building the next generation of holographic displays.

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