Wouldn’t it be great to see someone in an actual 3D projection rather than on a traditional flat-screen? Isn’t it great to think that it is almost possible to project whatever is on your screen or camera view into the thin air without having a wall to block the projection to make it visible? It is going to be a reality soon, or at least, the latest news coming out says so. Many companies claim that the users will be soon able to communicate using holograms by watching their loved ones in a 3D model projected from a device.
What is Holography?
For those who don’t know what Holography means, it is simply a technology that is used to record a wavefront and re-construct it later to generate 3D images. It is made by superimposing a second wavefront or also known as the reference beam on the wavefront generating a 3D projection visible. If you still don’t understand, it will almost look like the super-futuristic animations in the Iron Man movies. Instead of those structures and models, you will be able to see a person while communicating.
So, what’s the catch?
Well, it might vary from person to person. Someone may not be interested much in projecting something on their screen to the thin air which might be visible by anyone standing nearby. It is somewhat like opening up the privacy of their small smartphone screen to a bigger area. But for someone, it might feel great to have a meeting with their team members almost-realistic with the help of 3D projection. Especially if the technology is going to make use of real-life things instead of things on a screen.
Holography is not just about statically projecting something but has a wide variety of applications. As in the Iron Man scene we just talked about, we could take it to a further level where we will be able to work with structures, models, and similar things to have an easier understanding and manageability. The applications are endless and can be improved over time once the technology comes into existence. So, it is more than just showing off, and has limitless possibilities in different sectors of the community.
So, How will it work?
If you are familiar with PNG images or cutting off the background of a video using a green screen, the process might be similar to that. We do not want to project the background which might take away all the fun of the process. So, it is possible that using a green screen on the background, just like streamers do during live streams to make them appear on the screen without the background, holography projection can be also done by the same method.
What it takes?
We still don’t have any actual, working demos that are available to the consumers on a large scale. So, it is hard to tell what kind of devices will be required for one to project themselves. It may be a setup of multiple cameras in combination with a holographic device to project captured scene. Or maybe an all-in-one equipment that does everything on the list. This is also arising a doubt that whether it will be suitable for daily usage or not.
As these equipments may not come cheap in the initial days, companies might need more time into making the products cheaper and develop the technology further. Joe Ward, the CEO of IKIN, another holographic development company noted that,
For ordinary users, this may be a great addition to a conference or educational opportunity, but not very practical for everyday use.
Companies are already working on it
Many companies are actively working on making this possible. Recently, ARHT media and WeWork announced a partnership to bring holographic event options to WeWork locations. ARHT media is a well-known company producing and distributing holographic content. WeWork is a workspace provider used by millions of users all over the globe. They announced that they will integrate the ARHT media technologies into more than 100 of their building all across the globe.
Companies such as PORTL also working on developing technologies to beam holographic images in real-time making the once-fictional, futuristic technology a few years away from becoming a reality. Or maybe even months. You will be able to see any one of your loved ones or your colleagues in real-time using the technology.
Applications of the technology
Like we already mentioned, the application of the holographic projection is not just limited to the meeting rooms or for family interactions. It has a wide range of uses in almost every field including education, business, medical field, and almost everywhere. The most significant feature the technology brings to the table is the ability to view things differently. In a better, more real-life manner to understand things. Just like a 3D model on a flat screen, but improved to an actual 3D environment.
Technology can take it a further step ahead by implementing additional features to the same. We can make it possible to control the hologram with gestures making it much convenient working with 3D models. With the help of motion tracking systems and other related peripherals, working with structures and models can be extremely easy. Rather than using the traditional way of controlling things with a mouse and keyboard, the holographic projection can take things into another dimension. Mostly, engineers and developers can make use of the technology to build better things in a more efficient manner.
Whatever this interesting technology has to provide, we should wait a little while to see it in action. While the companies are actively working on making this a reality, we, the regular consumers may have to wait a little longer than the companies or individuals who can actually afford/access it. Or maybe, they make it cheap as well. Who knows, let’s wait and see!